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  1. Engel, Heidi J. PT, DPT
  2. Rivette, Maika N. PT
  3. McBride, Sean DPT
  4. Hills, Nancy K. PhD


Objective: This study examined the delivery of physical therapy (PT) services to patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) and factors determining their postdischarge location.


Methods: Medical charts for ICU patients who had spent at least 48 hours in ICU and had received PT services were retrospectively reviewed for age, time from ICU admission to both PT evaluation and ambulating, Acute Physiologic and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores, on mechanical ventilation greater than 48 hours, and preadmission and postdischarge residences. Univariate and multivariate regression models were developed to ascertain the impact of these factors on discharge to home.


Results: For those patients older than 60 years-91% were admitted from home, median time to PT evaluation was 42 hours, and 71% ambulated in the ICU. Factors associated with a decreased likelihood for discharge to home included higher Acute Physiologic and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores (P = .01), older age at admission (P = .03), longer time from admission to ambulation (P = .04), admission from a long-term care facility (P = .02), and longer total length of stay (P = .003).


Conclusion: Results suggest that advanced age is not a barrier to receiving PT in the ICU, and an inability to ambulate in this setting strongly predict postdischarge location.