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Effects of the High-Intensity Early Mobilization on Long-Term Functional Status of Patients with Mechanical Ventilation in the Intensive Care Unit.

OBJECTIVE: Intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired weakness often occurs in patients with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). Early active mobility may reduce ICU-acquired weakness, improve functional status, and reduce disability. The aim of this study was to investigate whether high-intensity early mobility improves post-ICU discharge functional status of IMV patients.

METHODS: 132 adult patients in the ICU who were undergoing IMV were randomly assigned into two groups with a ratio of 1 : 1, with one group received high-intensity early mobility (intervention group, IG), while the other group received conventional treatment (control group, CG). The functional status (Barthel Index (BI)), capacity of mobility (Perme score and ICU Mobility Scale (IMS)), muscle strength (Medical Research Council sum scores (MRC-SS)), mortality, complication, length of ICU stay, and duration of IMV were evaluated at ICU discharge or after 3-month of ICU discharge.

RESULTS: The patient's functional status was improved (BI scores 90.6 ± 18.0 in IG vs. 77.7 ± 27.9 in CG; p =0.005), and capacity of mobility was increased (Perme score 17.6 ± 7.1 in IG vs. 12.2 ± 8.5 in CG, p < 0.001; IMS 4.7 ± 2.6 in IG vs. 3.0 ± 2.6 in CG, p < 0.001). The IG had a higher muscle strength and lower incidence of ICU-acquired weakness (ICUAW) than that in the CG. The incidence of mortality and delirium was also lower than CG at ICU discharge. However, there were no differences in terms of length of ICU stay, duration of IMV, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and venous thrombosis.

CONCLUSIONS: High-intensity early mobility improved the patient's functional status and increased capacity of mobility with IMV. The benefits to functional status remained after 3 month of ICU discharge. Other benefits included higher muscle strength, lower incidence of ICUAW, mortality, and delirium in IG.

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