WalkMORE: A Volunteer-Driven Walking Intervention
“WalkMORE: A Volunteer-driven Walking Intervention”
Patients admitted to hospital typically experience periods of decreased activity or bed-rest. This reduced activity level leads to deconditioning - a loss of muscle mass, muscle strength (by 2-5% per day), and muscle shortening. Even among patients who were ambulatory at the time of admission, deconditioning has been linked with deleterious effects, such as increased rates of falls, functional decline, and frailty. Furthermore, it has been suggested that the physiological stresses associated with hospitalization - including deconditioning, as well as sleep deprivation and poor nutrition - makes discharged patients vulnerable to recurrent or new illnesses and to frailty. This physiological stress-induced vulnerability has been coined "post-hospital syndrome" and is thought to have a role in most hospital readmissions. The investigators hypothesize that by engaging ambulatory patients to walk with trained volunteers, patients will increase their amount of walking, have less deconditioning and functional decline, and consequently, fewer falls. Furthermore, the investigators anticipate that patients who walk with a trained volunteer will have reduced length-of-stay in hospital and decreased likelihood of readmission. Finally, as shown in other similar programs, the investigators anticipate an overall improvement in the patient experience. The investigator's novel initiative focuses on a single, volunteer-based intentional ambulation program that can deliver the benefits of early mobility in a cost-effective way. The program design engages trained volunteers to increase patient ambulation in a way that both increases patient mobility and reduces healthcare professionals' workload.
Behavioral - WalkMORE group
Hospitalized Internal Medicine patients will walk with trained volunteers twice daily until hospital discharge.
A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Volunteer-driven Walking Intervention to Improve Hospital-associated Deconditioning and Frailty