“GET MOVING”: Combatting hospital-acquired deconditioning in an inpatient rehabilitation setting

Miss Elise Jenkins1

1Port Macquarie Base Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia

Background: Hospital-acquired deconditioning (HAD) has a devastating impact on patients, hospitals and societies. HAD may be prevented by increasing patient mobility levels, however, there is limited evidence of the effectiveness of mobility programs within a rehabilitation setting.

Methods: A pilot study was undertaken to evaluate the potential impact of the “GET MOVING” program in a rehabilitation ward. Net patient mobility levels were evaluated for two cohorts before and after program implementation with a customised observation tool, as well as the change in Functional Independence Measures, the number of hospital readmissions within 60 days, patient length of stay, and number of falls. Descriptive statistics were utilised to summarise cohort demographics and outcomes. Statistical comparisons between cohorts were examined using Mann-Whitney tests.

Results: A statistically significant increase in net patient mobility levels was noted after program implementation in cohort 2 compared to cohort 1 (p<0.05). There was an increase of median ambulation time (8 minutes) and median sitting time (40 minutes) and decrease in bed rest time (62 minutes) within a 4-hour observation period. There were also statistically significant improvements in patient functional independence (p=0.007) and the number of readmissions within 60 days (p=0.003). There were no statistically significant findings in relation to patient length of stay or number of falls (p>0.05).

Conclusions: “GET MOVING” resulted in increased patient mobility and functional independence, and reduced hospital readmissions. This has clinical implications for minimising HAD in rehabilitation settings, though future research should explore effectiveness over a longer term and with larger sample sizes.


My name is Elise Jenkins, I am a physiotherapist at Port Macquarie Base Hospital in New South Wales. From my clinical experience I have developed a strong interest in the areas of gerontology, falls prevention and deconditioning. Over the years I have done quite a bit of innovative and interventional work in these areas within my health district. I am now endeavouring on a new career journey into research to further explore this area of passion.

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