Overcoming Barriers to Mobilizing Bariatric Patients: Three Case Studies



There is a growing body of evidence supporting the benefits to patients and healthcare systems with early and progressive mobility; however, there are many barriers to physically assisting patients with mobility interventions. In the bariatric patient population, where mobilizing patients can violate the 35 lb lifting limit recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), this can be especially challenging. This paper describes the use of safe patient handling technology for 3 different patients across different care settings, all of whom had significant barriers to mobility. The 3 cases each had a unique rationale for choice of safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) solutions and unique application of the SPHM technologies. The staff and patients at all 3 facilities felt the SPHM technologies significantly affected the course of care and the patient outcomes. Use of SPHM technologies can assist in overcoming barriers to early and progressive mobility for patients of all sizes. Further research is needed in the form of prospective trials to determine the most effective use of technologies and optimal timing of interventions for all patients, particularly for bariatric patients.

Arnold M, Combs J, Gach R, Labreche M

Keywords: safe patient handling, bariatric, early and progressive mobility

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