I’ll be honest – it feels almost insensitive to share this new paper in light of how overwhelmed ICUs and hospitals worldwide are at present in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I worked closely with David and the team to analyse, from the perspective of a sample of ICU clinicians themselves, what the barriers and facilitators were to implementing early mobilisation in their ICUs. For those who are not familiar with the term or the rationale behind it, early mobilisation refers to initiating activity (movement) of a patient within 24-48 hours of ICU admission. There is increasing evidence for early mobilisation reducing functional limitations after ICU discharge (in plain English, as we know in general, physical activity and movement keeps our bodies strong and moving freely).
Of course, the clinicians identified quite a number of reasons as to why early mobilisation doesn’t always occur in the ICU. Some of those barriers were indeed things like the unpredictable nature of the ICU, limited staffing, limited equipment, and a lack of time. Undoubtedly, resources are stretched even more thinly in many hospitals at present.
So, it feels like a funny time for this paper to come out, but here it is. And while I acknowledge that some of these identified limitations may be hard to address is our current state of normal, hopefully this research will help contribute to designing some interventions to improve early mobilisation in the ICU in the future. Thank you David for asking me to join as an investigator in this project.