Feasibility study of the use of the Vitamove in measuring mobility of patients after surgery
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Introduction: Early mobilisation is part of standard postoperative care after abdominal surgery. Nevertheless no consensus exists on the content of early mobilisation. Impartial information on the mobility of patients can contribute to better treatments. The use of ambulant accelerometrics as applied in the VitaMove system enables a detailed assessment of patient mobility in terms of body postures and movements. Until now, the VitaMove has not been applied in clinical, inpatient settings. Objective: Primary objective is to determine if the VitaMove is feasible for measuring mobility of patients after abdominal surgery, admitted to the hospital. The secondary objective is to examine the face validity i.e. whether the VitaMove measures the clinically relevant aspects of mobility after surgery. Methods: Five patients, admitted to the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam for elective whipple operation, were included in the study. Inclusion criteria were: age between 18 and 85 years and no limitations for early postoperative mobilisation. The mobility was measured during the first, third, seventh and ninth day after surgery. Criteria for feasibility were: wearing time, burden for patients, influencing nursing staff during daily care and missed activities. The VitaMove is considered feasible when all four endpoints are met. The VM was examined on face validity in three ways: the VM-reports were checked on obvious errors and the observation of recovery of mobility. Further the activity detection was examined in detail, with focus on sub-categories of mobility and optimization of settings. Results: The average wearing time of the VitaMove is 85%, 18% of the patients reported complaints on wearing the VitaMove, 0% of the nursing staff reported to be influenced by the VitaMove during daily care and in 13% of the days, more than 2 activities were missed. Face validity: with all patients the posture ‘prone’ was measured although after abdominal surgery patients never take this posture. This is an obvious error. On the other hand recovery of mobility was observed correctly and two subcategories could be distinguished: sitting upright and backwards. Conclusion: The use of the VitaMove does not meet two out of four endpoints. Therefore the VM is not feasible for measuring mobilisation with patients staying in hospital after abdominal surgery. With adjustments of study protocol concerning wearing time and placement by nursing staff, the VM will probably be assessed as feasible. The face validity is ambiguous: the VM measures recovery of mobility correctly, but on the other hand non-performed activities were detected.