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Encouraging mobilisation in medical patients

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 randomised controlled trials including 2,703 adults with an average age of 75 admitted to hospital with medical diagnoses, suggested that encouraging mobilisation in medical patients could reduce the average length of stay by two days for an older person admitted to hospital for medical treatment, compared with usual care. This represents a significant potential benefit for hospitals dealing with the challenges of bed shortages.

More importantly the results suggested that encouraging mobilisation of patients can help prevent hospital associated deconditioning by maintaining or even improving physical functioning. This brings improvements in quality of life and possibly enhances the ability to maintain independence post-discharge.

A range of interventions were included from moving from the bed to sitting, standing, walking and exercise programs. Control groups were treated according to usual care. No significant difference in falls rate in hospital was reported between intervention and control groups.


Cortes OL, Delgado S, Esparza M. Systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental studies: in-hospital mobilization for patients admitted for medical treatment. J Adv Nurs. 2019; January 22.