Graphic Representation of Hourly Activity Counts May Identify Discharge Outcomes for Older Adults After Critical Illness

Abstract

Purpose 

After transitioning from an intensive care unit (ICU), hospitalized older adults are inactive, which may affect discharge outcomes. We examined trends between post-ICU hourly activity counts and discharge disposition among hospitalized older ICU survivors.

Design 

A prospective, exploratory research design was used in this study.

Methods 

We enrolled older ICU survivors within 24–48 hours of ICU discharge. Actigraphy measured post-ICU hourly activity counts (0:00 a.m.–23:59 p.m.). Chart review provided discharge disposition. Analyses were conducted to illustrate trends between post-ICU hourly activity counts and discharge disposition.

Findings 

Mean hourly activity was about 2,233 ± 569 counts/hour. Graphs revealed trends between hourly activity counts and discharge disposition. Participants with lower post-ICU activity counts, especially during daytime hours, tended to be discharged to a care facility.

Conclusions 

Future nursing research should determine whether post-ICU inactivity during hospitalization is a modifiable risk factor for worse discharge outcomes.

Clinical Relevance 

Activity could be a prognostic indicator of discharge disposition for older ICU survivors.