Current Trends in Practice for Early Mobility with the Burn Population

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4 Scopus citations


There is a clinical trend toward "early mobilization" of patients with burn injury, however mobility is not well defined in burn care. Burn injuries result in various extents of injury, body areas affected, and types of skin graft surgeries needed-all of which may influence the type, timing, safety, and outcome of mobilization activities. This study surveyed burn clinicians to determine current mobility practices and the influence of skin graft surgery on clinical decisions to mobilize patients. A 32-question survey was electronically distributed to burn clinicians and included questions about postoperative range of motion (ROM) and out of bed (OOB) mobility practices for various skin graft types and locations. For all types of grafts on all body locations, the average time after skin graft surgery that patients resumed ROM activities was postoperative day (POD) 3.87 (±2.04) while OOB mobility resumed on POD 2.54 (±1.38). There was significantly greater variability for OOB mobility compared to ROM (coefficient of variation [CV] 0.71 ± 0.8 vs 0.5 ± 0.05). Time to postoperative ROM was significantly different depending on the type of skin graft placed with sheet skin grafts resuming ROM the earliest. Time to OOB mobility after surgery was significantly different for different body locations with grafts placed above the waist resuming OOB mobility earliest. This study provides a summary of current mobility practices and serves as a foundation for future studies investigating the optimal timing and practical application of mobility protocols that may influence safety and outcome of burn survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of burn care & research : official publication of the American Burn Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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