Effects of Aerobic Exercise in the Intensive Care Unit on Patient-Reported Physical Function and Mental Health Outcomes in Severely Burned Children—A Multicenter Prospective Randomized Trial

Alen Palackic, Andrea Rego, Ingrid Parry, Soman Sen, Ludwik K. Branski, Taylor G. Hallman, Heidi Spratt, Jong O. Lee, David N. Herndon, Steven E. Wolf, Oscar E. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Severe burns are life-altering and can have lasting effects on patients’ physical and mental health. Alterations in physical function, changes in appearance, and psychological disturbances resulting from severe burns are especially concerning in children, as they are still in the early stages of identity formation. Exercise in the nonburn population has been shown to improve quality of life and result in better physical and mental status. However, the effect of early exercise on the quality of life in pediatric burn patients requires more research. Methods: Forty-eight children between the ages of seven and seventeen with ≥30% total body surface area (TBSA) burn were randomized in a 1:2 fashion to receive treatment with standard-of-care (SOC) or standard-of-care plus exercise (SOC+Ex). Surveys administered at admission and discharge collected patient-reported information regarding physical and mental health outcomes. The results are given as means +/− standard deviation. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: The average age of the SOC and SOC+Ex groups were 12 ± 3 and 13 ± 4 years, respectively. The average %TBSA burned in the SOC and SOC+Ex groups were 54 ± 17 and 48 ± 14, respectively. The SOC+Ex group averaged 10 ± 9 exercise sessions (range of 1 to 38 sessions) with an attendance rate of 25% (10 sessions out of 40 BICU days). Both groups demonstrated significant improvement in patient-reported physical and mental outcomes during hospital admission (p < 0.05) However, additional exercise did not exhibit any additional benefits for measured levels. Conclusions: Our recommendation is for all pediatric patients in the BICU to continue with the SOC and consult with their physician over the benefits of additional aerobic exercise. This study suggests that perhaps there is potential for increasing the amount of exercise that can be administered to pediatric burn survivors beyond SOC as we did not find aerobic exercise to be of any harm to any patients if it is performed properly and under supervision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number455
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • burns
  • exercising
  • intensive care unit
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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