Significant variability exists in physical therapy early mobilization practice. The frequency of physical therapy or early mobilization of patients in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit and its effect on length of stay has not been investigated. The goal of our research was to examine variables that influence physical therapy evaluation and treatment in the intensive care unit using a retrospective chart review. Patients (n = 2568) were categorized and compared based on the most common diagnoses or surgical procedures. Multivariate semi-logarithmic regression analyses were used to determine correlations. Differences among patient subgroups for all independent variables other than age and for length of stay were found. The regression model determined that time to first physical therapy evaluation, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, mean days of physical therapy treatment and mechanical ventilation were associated with increased hospital length of stay. Time to first physical therapy evaluation in the intensive care unit and the hospital, and mean days of physical therapy treatment associated with hospital length of stay. Further prospective study is required to determine whether shortening time to physical therapy evaluation and treatment in a cardiothoracic intensive care unit could influence length of stay.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Scientific Reports, v. 7, article no. 17591, p. 1-9.

© The Author(s) 2017

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The project described was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through grant number UL1TR000117. This funding supported the data collection and assistance with data analysis during the study.

Related Content

Data availability: The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due to restrictions from the healthcare system under study but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.