Implementation of an Acute Care COPD Exacerbation Patient Mobilization Tool A Mixed-Methods Study

Pat G. Camp*, Ori Benari, Gail Dechman, Ashley Kirkham, Kristin Campbell, Agnes Black, Frank Chung, Preeya Dajee, Amy Ellis, Alison M. Hoens, Rosalyn Jones, Beena Parappilly, Chiara Singh, Philip Sweeney, Ellen Woo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Improving the mobility of hospitalized patients with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) is a priority of care. AECOPD-Mob is a clinical decision-making tool for physical therapists, especially those who are newly graduated or are new to caring for patients with AECOPDs in acute care settings. Although this tool has been available for several years, dissemination via publication is not sufficient to implement it in clinical practice. Objective: The primary objective of this study was to develop, implement, and evaluate different formats of AECOPD-Mob in an acute care setting. Methods: We used a mixed-methods, convergent parallel design. In addition to the paper format of AECOPD-Mob, we developed a smartphone app, a web-based learner module, and an in-service learning session. Newly graduated physical therapists (PTs) or PTs new to the practice area were recruited from urban acute care hospitals. Participants used the different formats for 3 weeks and then completed the Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire. User data were retrieved for the learning module. Participants participated in focus groups at 3 weeks and 3 months. Results: Eighteen (72% of eligible PTs, 100% female, 94% graduated within 3 yr) PTs participated. Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire scores for the learning module and smartphone indicated that participants were satisfied with these formats (median score 2.0 on 1-7 Likert Scale for both technology formats, lower scores indicating greater satisfaction). However, the participants reported in the focus group that the paper format was preferred over other formats. Concerns with the smartphone app included infection control and the perception of lack of professionalism when using a smartphone during clinical practice. The learning module and in-service were considered helpful as an introduction but not as an ongoing support. The paper format was seen as the most efficient way to access the necessary information and to facilitate communication between other members of the care team about the importance of mobility for hospitalized patients with AECOPDs. Conclusion: Newly graduated PTs strongly preferred the paper format of the AECOPDMob tool in the acute care setting. Future research will focus on knowledge translation strategies for other health disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages16
JournalATS Scholar
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • hospitalizations
  • knowledge translation
  • questionnaires and surveys


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