The purpose of this study was to review relevant literature on activity of older critically ill patients, including activity interventions conducted in this population, with a focus on activity measurement and technology. Literature published between 1996 and 2012 was reviewed using keywords older adults, inactivity, mobility, progressive mobility, rehabilitation, ambulation, early mobilization, ICU (intensive care unit), and accelerometry using CINAHL, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Previous relevant research is discussed and includes intervention and nonintervention studies. Although studies have demonstrated the benefits of early mobilization in the ICU setting, this research has not focused on the high-risk older adult ICU population, nor has it addressed how best to quantify these clinical activities. Current technologies, such as accelerometry, may assist in measuring patient activity and in mobilizing high-risk patients during acute, critical illness.
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