Content » Vol 48, Issue 3

Short communication

Whole-body vibration therapy in intensive care patients: A feasibility and safety study

Tobias Boeselt, Christoph Nell, Katahrina Kehr, Angélique Holland, Marc Dresel, Timm Greulich, Björn Tackenberg, Klaus Kenn, Johannes Boeder, Benjamin Klapdor, Andreas Kirschbaum, Claus Vogelmeier, Peter Alter, Rembert Koczulla
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Philipps University of Marburg, Baldingerstr., DE-35033 Marburg/Lahn, Germany. E-mail: Tobias.boeselt@staff.uni-marburg.de
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2052

Abstract

Background: Admission to the intensive care unit is associated with sustained loss of muscle mass, reduced quality of life and increased mortality. Early rehabilitation measures may counteract this process. New approaches to rehabilitation while the patient remains in bed are whole-body vibration alone and whole-body vibration with a dumbbell. The aims of this study are to determine the safety of whole-body vibration for patients admitted to the intensive care unit, and to compare the effects of these techniques in intensive care unit patients and healthy subjects.
Methods: Twelve intensive care unit patients and 12 healthy subjects using whole-body vibration for the first time were examined while lying in bed. First both groups performed whole body vibration over 3 min. In a second step whole body vibration with dumbbell was performed. In order to determine the safety of the training intensity, heart rate, oxygen saturation and blood pressure were measured. The study was approved by the Marburg ethics committee.
Results: There were minor reversible and transient increases in diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.005) and heart rate (p = 0.001) in the control group with whole-body vibration with a dumbbell. In intensive care patients receiving whole-body vibration alone, there were increases in diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.011) and heart rate (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility of using whole-body vibration and whole-body vibration with a dumbbell for intensive care unit in-bed patients. No clinically significant safety problems were found. Whole-body vibration and whole-body vibration with a dumbbell might therefore be alternative methods for use in early in-bed rehabilitation, not only for hospitalized patients.

Lay Abstract

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