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Effect of a Safe Patient Handling Program on Rehabilitation Outcomes

Published:September 06, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2012.08.213

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate the effect of a safe patient handling (SPH) program on rehabilitation mobility outcomes.

      Design

      Retrospective cohort study.

      Setting

      A rehabilitation unit in a hospital system.

      Participants

      Consecutive patients (N=1291) over a 1-year period without an SPH program in place (n=507) and consecutive patients over a 1-year period with an SPH program in place (n=784).

      Interventions

      The SPH program consisted of administrative policies and patient handling technologies. The policies limited manual patient handling. Equipment included ceiling- and floor-based dependent lifts, sit-to-stand assists, ambulation aides, friction-reducing devices, motorized hospital beds and shower chairs, and multihandled gait belts.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The mobility subscale of the FIM.

      Results

      Patients rehabilitated in the group with SPH achieved similar outcomes to patients rehabilitated in the group without SPH. A significant difference between groups was noted for patients with initial mobility FIM scores of 15.1 and higher after controlling for initial mobility FIM score, age, length of stay, and diagnosis. Those patients performed better with SPH.

      Conclusions

      SPH programs do not appear to inhibit recovery. Fears among therapists that the use of equipment may lead to dependence may be unfounded.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      BMI (body mass index), SPH (safe patient handling)
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