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Springfield, Massachusetts 01199


Ambulation following surgery has been found to be beneficial for patients; however, nurses and doctors struggle with getting post-operative, hospitalized patients to walk on their own. One promising strategy to address this might be an ambulation orderly, an employee whose single responsibility is to assure that patients walk 3-4 times per day. However, the effect of the ambulation orderly on post-operative physical activity has not yet been described. It is important to quantify what the ambulation orderly does in order to assess if this is an effective method for helping patients walk. As a result, the investigators will perform a pilot randomized controlled trial to test the effects of an ambulation orderly in patients hospitalized with recent cardiac surgery. Half of the patients will be assigned to walk with the ambulation orderly 3-4 times/day and the control group will be given standard nursing encouragement and assistance and encouragement to walk. The investigators will evaluate the average total daily step counts (over the hospital course, usually 4-7 days) and the change in walking distance between a baseline and a final 6 minute walk test. The investigators will also evaluate exercise physiologic parameters (heart rate, oxygen saturation) during ambulation, patient functional independence, and patient satisfaction.

Study summary:

The investigators will perform a prospective randomized controlled trial at Baystate Medical Center, a 684-bed academic teaching hospital that serves as the referral center for a population of approximately 800,000 people living in Western Massachusetts. The responsibility of the ambulation orderly is to walk patients after having a cardiac surgery, such as a coronary artery bypass surgery or a valve replacement or repair. Patients will be randomized to receive visits from the ambulation orderly (ambulation group) or to receive the standard care of Baystate Medical Center (control group). The standard of care will be nurse-directed ambulation, as is currently done in all other nursing floors at Baystate Medical Center. Nurses will be instructed to walk with the patients as they did before the initiation of the ambulation orderly and as they do when the orderly is on vacation, at conferences, training, or away for illness.


Inclusion Criteria: - Patients who have had a cardiac surgery procedure (coronary artery bypass grafting surgery or valve surgery). Must be ambulatory prior to surgery Exclusion Criteria: - Unable to consent, cognitively impaired, and patients unable to walk prior to surgery



Primary Contact:

Study Director
Peter Lindenauer, MD, MSc
Baystate Medical Center

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Springfield, Massachusetts 01199
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: June 25, 2018

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