Incidence and risk factors for impaired mobility in older cardiac surgery patients during the early postoperative period Academic Article uri icon

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  • AIM: Mobility issues in the early postoperative period result in poor functional outcomes and diminished quality of life for patients of advanced age. We determined the incidence of and risk factors for mobility issues in the early postoperative period in patients receiving open heart cardiac surgery. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was carried out on 396 patients receiving open heart coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG), valve replacements and combination CABG-valve replacements in a tertiary care hospital. Data on demographics, comorbidities, laboratory values, medications, anesthesia and postoperative care were abstracted. Mobility issues were considered present if they were documented in the medical chart. All pre- and intraoperative variables were entered into logistic regression. RESULTS: The mean age was 66.4 ± 11.9 years. In a subset of patients aged 75 years and older, the mean age was 79.8 ± 3.7 years. Mobility issues affected 36.9% of individuals from the total sample, and 47.6% of older patients. Increased age was a weak predictor in the total sample (OR 1.03), but was the only predictor in older adults (OR 1.1). The strongest predictors in the total sample were preoperative COPD (OR 2.7), congestive heart failure (CHF; OR 2.1), renal disease (OR 1.9), and pre-existing physical impairment (OR 1.8). Older patients with mobility issues were more likely to be discharged to acute care facilities, and had higher rates of mortality 3 years after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Over one-third of cardiac surgery patients experienced early postoperative mobility issues. Older patients and those with COPD, CHF, renal disease or pre-existing physical impairments might benefit from preoperative consultation with physical therapists.


  • Tse, Lurdes
  • Bowering, John B
  • Schwarz, Stephan KW
  • Moore, Randell L
  • Sztramko, Richard
  • Barr, Alasdair M

publication date

  • March 2015