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BMC Geriatr. 2019 Oct 25;19(1):288. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1311-z.

Scaling-up implementation in community hospitals: a multisite interrupted time series design of the Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders (MOVE) program in Alberta.

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Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Specialized Geriatric Services, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Canada.
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Public Health Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



As the population ages, older hospitalized patients are at increased risk for hospital-acquired morbidity. The Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders (MOVE) program is an evidence-informed early mobilization intervention that was previously evaluated in Ontario, Canada. The program was effective at improving mobilization rates and decreasing length of stay in academic hospitals. The aim of this study was to scale-up the program and conduct a replication study evaluating the impact of the evidence-informed mobilization intervention on various units in community hospitals within a different Canadian province.


The MOVE program was tailored to the local context at four community hospitals in Alberta, Canada. The study population was patients aged 65 years and older who were admitted to medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and intensive care units between July 2015 and July 2016. The primary outcome was patient mobilization measured by conducting visual audits twice a week, three times a day. The secondary outcomes included hospital length of stay obtained from hospital administrative data, and perceptions of the intervention assessed through a qualitative assessment. Using an interrupted time series design, the intervention was evaluated over three time periods (pre-intervention, during, and post-intervention).


A total of 3601 patients [mean age 80.1 years (SD = 8.4 years)] were included in the overall analysis. There was a significant increase in mobilization at the end of the intervention period compared to pre-intervention, with 6% more patients out of bed (95% confidence interval (CI) 1, 11; p-value = 0.0173). A decreasing trend in median length of stay was observed, where patients on average stayed an estimated 3.59 fewer days (95%CI -15.06, 7.88) during the intervention compared to pre-intervention period.


MOVE is a low-cost, effective and adaptable intervention that improves mobilization in older hospitalized patients. This intervention has been replicated and scaled up across various units and hospital settings.


MOVE; Mobilization; mobility; older adults; scale and spread

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