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Review: early mobilisation is better than bed rest for medical conditions and after healthcare procedures

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QUESTION: Is bed rest as effective as early mobilisation for patients with medical conditions or after healthcare procedures?

Data sources

Randomised controlled trials were identified by searching Medline and the Cochrane Library (1966 to June 1998) using terms related to bed rest (bed rest, bedrest, recumben [with various endings], expectant, and rest) and its opposite (early ambulat [with various endings], early activation, and early discharge). Personal files and bibliographies of relevant studies and review articles were also checked.

Study selection

Studies were selected if groups were studied in the same environment, treatments were the same except for the amount of bed rest prescribed, and treatments included drugs, surgery, or physical therapy but not education or advice.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on procedures (lumbar puncture, spinal anaesthesia, radiculography, cardiac catheterisation, …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Dr P Glasziou, Centre for General Practice, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Herston Queensland 4006, Australia. Fax +61 7 336 55442.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in ACP Journal Club.