Early mobilization in clinical practice: the reliability and feasibility of the ‘Start To Move’ Protocol Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE:The properties of a local Intensive Care Unit early mobilization protocol ('Start To Move As Soon As Possible') in critically ill patients, consisting of an objective diagnostic assessment linked to six treatment levels were evaluated. This study aimed to investigate whether the protocol can be reliably applied by different health-care providers (reliability), to examine the associations between prescribed and delivered treatments (feasibility) and to explore safety and patient satisfaction with the protocol. METHODS:Cross-sectional observational study evaluating the reliability of the protocol between physiotherapist was evaluated with Cohen's kappa, percentage of agreement, and intraclass correlation coefficients in 61 patients. Feasibility was analyzed as agreement between prescribed and delivered treatments with Spearman's rank correlation coefficients in 60 patients. A satisfaction survey was used to evaluate patient satisfaction with the protocol. RESULTS:Excellent agreement was observed between physiotherapists for diagnostic level assignment (Kappa = 0.92), while the majority of the treatment proposals per level showed moderate to substantial agreement between the physiotherapists (Kappa range: 0.40-0.89). Three hundred and thirteen treatments were prescribed. Perfect agreement was observed between prescribed and delivered treatments in level 0 (Spearman's rho 1.00) and excellent associations for levels 1-5 (0.941, 0.995, 0.951, 0.998, and 0.999), respectively. Unwanted safety events rate was 3%. Most patients (92%) were very satisfied with physiotherapy. CONCLUSION:Excellent inter-rater agreement for diagnostic level assignment and moderate to substantial agreement for proposed treatments support the reliability of the protocol. Perfect to excellent associations between prescribed and delivered treatments supports its feasibility. Complications were rare, and most patients were very positive regarding the care provided by physiotherapists during their stay in the ICU.


  • Hoffman Barbosa, Mariana
  • Clerckx, B
  • Janssen, K
  • Segers, J
  • Demeyere, I
  • Frickx, B
  • Merckx, E
  • Hermans, G
  • Van der Meulen, I
  • Van Lancker, T
  • Ceulemans, N
  • Van Hollebeke, M
  • Langer, D
  • Gosselink, R

publication date

  • 2020