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ABCDE bundle, Implementation, Intensive care unit, Interprofessional



  1. Boehm, Leanne M. PhD, RN, ACNS-BC
  2. Vasilevskis, Eduard E. MD, MPH
  3. Mion, Lorraine C. PhD, RN, FAAN


Background: The ABCDE bundle is a multifaceted, interprofessional intervention that is associated with reduced ventilator and delirium days as well as increased likelihood of mobility in intensive care.


Objectives: The aim of this study is to describe organizational domains that contribute to variation in ABCDE bundle implementation as reported by intensive care unit providers and to examine the capability of a conceptual framework for identifying variation in ABCDE bundle implementation.


Methods: We conducted 2 separate focus groups that included nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational and physical therapists (N = 16) from the surgical and medical intensive care units at 1 academic medical center. All participants had experience performing ABCDE bundle activities.


Results: Variation in how the ABCDE bundle was interpreted and executed within and across disciplines was noted. Organizational facets, the physical environment, labor quantity and quality, task burden, provider attitudes, and patient characteristics were noted to influence ABCDE bundle execution. The difficulty coordinating and implementing early mobility was emphasized.


Discussion: The number of disciplines required to perform an activity and individual component complexity was reported to influence ABCDE bundle implementation. Nurses repeatedly described challenges with coordinating care across disciplines. Small tests of change, adequate staffing, interprofessional training and protocol development efforts, and role modeling may be effective methods for successful ABCDE bundle implementation.