Brief Reports

Stepping toward discharge: Level of ambulation in hospitalized patients

Abstract

Little information is available on how active adult patients are during their hospitalization. The purpose of this study is to describe the level of ambulation in hospitalized patients. This was a cohort study of ambulatory patients from 3 hospital medical‐surgical units conducted March 2014 through July 2014. Patients wore an accelerometer upon admission to the unit until discharge to home. Sensor placement and data review were performed as part of routine care. Step counts were merged with administrative and clinical data for analysis. Data were available on 777 patients who had at least 24 hours of monitoring prior to discharge. The sample included 57% females, and 55% were nonwhite. The median total step count over 24 hours was 1158 (interquartile range: 636–2238). Patients who were older accrued fewer steps compared to younger patients (962 vs 1294, P < 0.0001). For patients who had at least 48 hours of monitoring (n = 378), there was an increase from 811 steps in the first 24 hours to 1188 steps in the final 24 hours prior to discharge. More frequent documentation was associated with higher step counts (P ≤ 0.001). We found that a diverse sample of hospitalized adult patients accrued over 1000 steps in the 24 hours prior to discharge home. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2015;10:384–389. © 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine

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