Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Jeanne Salyer, Ph.D., RN

Second Advisor

Catherine Grossman, MD

Third Advisor

Edmund O. Acevedo, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Leroy Thacker, Ph.D.


Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting are prone to develop muscle weakness and the causes are multi-factorial. Muscle strength in adult, critically ill patients on mechanical ventilation decreases with immobility. The influence of muscle strength on different muscle groups and its influence on progressive mobility in the adult, critically ill patient on mechanical ventilation has not been examined. Identifying muscle strength in this patient population can benefit overall muscle health and minimize muscle deconditioning through a progressive mobility plan. The objective of this dissertation was to describe muscle strength in different muscle groups and to describe the influence of muscle strength on mobility in critically ill adult patients on mechanical ventilation (MV). Fifty ICU patients were enrolled in this descriptive, cross sectional study. Abdominal core, bilateral hand grip and extremity strength was measured using three measurement tools. Mobility was measured using the following scale: 0=lying in bed; 1=sitting on edge of bed; 2=sitting on edge of bed to standing; 3=walking to bedside chair and 4=walking >7 feet from the standing position. Predictors of mobility were examined using stepwise regression. Abdominal core, bilateral hand grip and extremity strength demonstrated statistically significant relationships with all variables. Extremity strength accounted for 82% of the variance in mobility and was the sole predictor (β=0.903; F=212.9; p=0.000). Future research addressing the outcomes of implementing a mobility protocol in this patient population and prioritizing when such a protocol should be implemented would be beneficial to ongoing plans to decrease MV, ICU and hospital days. Muscle strength tests implemented at the bedside are crucial to implementing a progressive mobility plan for critically ill adults while they are on MV therapy.


© Audrey R. Roberson

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission