Early mobilization or active exercise for critically ill ICU patients

Added April 19, 2020

Citation: Doiron K, Hoffman T, Beller E. Early intervention (mobilization or active exercise) for critically ill adults in the intensive care unit. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018; (3): CD010754

What is this? Some patients with COVID-19 will become critically ill and need treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) and may require mechanical ventilation. Some patients will develop complications, such as muscle weakness, cognitive impairment, psychological difficulties, reduced physical function and poor quality of life. Early mobilization or active exercise may be used to try to prevent these complications.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for randomized and quasi-randomized trials which evaluated the effects of starting an early intervention (mobilization or active exercise) in the ICU for critically ill adults. They did not restrict their search by type or language of publication and did the search in August 2017. They included 4 randomized trials (690 participants), and identified a further 3 ongoing trials and have 4 studies awaiting classification.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Although starting mobilization or active exercise while critically ill patients are in ICU may improve their functional status at hospital discharge, the effects on other outcomes (including their physical function, performance and health related quality of life) are uncertain.


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