Normal Baseline Function Is Associated With Delayed Rehabilitation in Critically Ill Children

on behalf of the PICU Up! Early Mobilization Task Force

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Early mobilization of patients in the adult intensive care unit (ICU) is associated with improved functional outcomes and shorter ICU stay. Although emerging evidence suggests that early mobilization in pediatric ICUs (PICUs) is safe and feasible, physical therapist (PT) consultation may be delayed because of perceptions that patient acuity precludes mobilization activities. Factors that influence timely involvement of PTs to facilitate acute rehabilitation in critically ill children have not been characterized. The aim of this study was to identify patient-level factors for early PT consultation in a tertiary care PICU before large-scale implementation of a multicomponent early mobilization program. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from the PICU Up! Quality Improvement Initiative. The primary outcome was early rehabilitation, defined as PT consultation within the first 3 days of PICU admission. Patients (n = 100) were divided into 2 groups by outcome, and predictive factors for early rehabilitation were analyzed with logistic regression. Results: Of 100 children, 54% received early rehabilitation. In univariate analyses, higher pediatric risk of mortality (PRISM) score (P <.001), baseline motor impairment (P <.01), developmental delay (P =.04), mechanical ventilation (P =.1), and number of devices (P =.01) were associated with early rehabilitation. In a logistic regression model, predictive factors for early rehabilitation included baseline motor impairment (adjusted odds ratio = 5.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3-22.0) and higher PRISM score (adjusted odds ratio = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.02-1.34). Conclusions: Critically ill children with normal baseline function or lower acuity of illness are less likely to have initiation of early rehabilitation with PT prior to implementation of a unit-wide early mobilization program. Baseline motor impairment and higher PRISM scores were independently associated with early rehabilitation. These findings highlight the need for streamlined criteria for PT consultation to meet the rehabilitation needs of all critically ill patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-410
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • child
  • critical care
  • early mobilization
  • pediatrics
  • postoperative care
  • postoperative complications
  • program development
  • risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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