Mobilisation in critical care: A concept analysis

Christina Amidei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of mobilisation within the context of the critical care setting. Mobilisation is a widely used term that belies the complexity of its use in practice. Whilst facilitating movement is a significant nursing concern, mobilisation practices vary widely amongst nurses, perhaps due to conceptual incongruence. Methods: Evolutionary methodology was used in this concept analysis. Medline, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and PsycInfo databases were searched from 1966 to present. Search terms included mobilisation, mobility and passive exercise, yielding 61 articles suitable for analysis. Findings: Findings indicate that mobilisation is an interdisciplinary, goal-directed therapy used to facilitate movement and improve outcomes. It involves energy expenditure and has both physical and psychological domains. Disciplines vary in applications of mobilisation and therapy parameters are essentially undefined. The energy expenditure attribute has been well-exemplified in physical therapy literature, but only to a minimal degree in nursing literature. Conclusion: In spite of the wide use of mobilisation, the concept requires further development, particularly in the critical care setting. Barriers to mobilisation require further delineation as does the psychological domain. Ongoing concept analysis can be used to inform practice and guide research activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Concept analysis
  • Critical care
  • Energy expenditure
  • Mobilisation
  • Mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


Dive into the research topics of 'Mobilisation in critical care: A concept analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this