PURPOSEPatients with cancer are often hospitalized with complications from cancer and cancer treatment. Many experience a decline in physical functioning, including loss of mobility, which likely contributes to increased length of stay (LOS) and increased readmissions. We aimed to determine whether a mobility program would improve quality of care and decrease health care utilization.METHODSWe implemented a mobility aide program on an oncology unit in a large academic medical center for all patients without bedrest orders between October 1, 2018, and February 28, 2021. The program consisted of nursing evaluation using the Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care (AMPAC), an ordinal scale ranging from bed rest to ambulating ≥ 250 feet, to quantify mobility. Plan of care was determined in a multidisciplinary manner with physical therapy (PT), nursing, and a mobility aide, who is a medical assistant with enhanced rehabilitation training. Patients were then mobilized two times per day 7 days a week. Using descriptive statistics and mixed effects logistic regression, we evaluated the programs impact on LOS, readmissions, and changes in mobility during this time period compared with the 6-month interval before implementation.RESULTSA total of 1,496 hospitalized patients were identified. The odds of hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge was significantly less for those who received the intervention (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.78; P =.001). The odds ratio (OR) of having a final AMPAC score at or above the median was significantly higher for those who received the intervention (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.04 to 2.45; P <.05). There was no significant difference in LOS.CONCLUSIONUse of this mobility program resulted in a significant decrease in readmissions and maintained or improved patients' mobility. This demonstrates that non-PT professionals can effectively mobilize hospitalized patients with cancer, thereby decreasing the burden on PT and nursing resources. Future work will evaluate the sustainability of the program and evaluate association with health care costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-426
Number of pages6
JournalJCO Oncology Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Benefits of an Early Mobility Program for Hospitalized Patients with Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this