Interprofessional Survey of Barriers and Facilitators to Early Mobilization of Critically Ill Patients in Montreal

Early mobilization is safe, feasible, and associated with better outcomes in patients with critical illness. However, barriers to mobilization in clinical practice still exist. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge and practice patterns of intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians, as well as the barriers and facilitators to early mobilization.

The overall response rate was 50.0% (138 of 274). Early mobilization was not perceived as a top priority in 49% of respondents. Results showed that clinicians were not fully aware of the benefits of early mobilization as per the current literature. About 58% of clinicians did not feel well trained and informed to mobilize mechanically ventilated patients. Perceptions on patient-level barriers varied with clinicians’ professional training, but there was a high degree of interprofessional and intraprofessional disagreement on the permissible maximal level activity in different scenarios of critically ill patients.

The survey shows limited awareness, among our respondents, of the clinical benefits of early mobilization and high level of disagreement on the permissible maximal level of activity in the critically ill patients. Future studies should evaluate the role of knowledge translation in modifying these barriers and improving early mobilization.