Manual or Mechanical. What choice should we make for our patients who are Bariatric?

Abstract

Study Design: Comprehensive Literature Review. Purpose: Physical Therapists routinely assist patients who are morbidly obese (BMI>40, classified as bariatric) with functional mobility in the inpatient setting by manual or mechanical lifting techniques. This literature review identifies and synthesizes current research to determine which option is superior in promoting functional independence within this population. Methods: Six online databases were searched: WEB OF SCIENCE, PUBMED, CINAHL, EBSCO, ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER and MEDLINE. Of the 26 key words searched only obesity, bariatrics, rehabilitation, safety, ceiling or mechanical lift, patient handling or transfer, musculoskeletal injury, risk to healthcare workers, and intervention yielded results. To be included articles addressed transfers with the bariatric population or mechanical transfers. Articles were classified by Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine Levels of Evidence. Results: Twenty-five articles were identified. 52% included the bariatric population, of which 77% identified risk of musculoskeletal injury to the healthcare practitioner; 69% proposed risk reduction interventions for provider injury with 78% identifying mechanical lifts as the superior option. Of the twenty five articles only one article discussed both the use of a mechanical lift within the bariatric population and the effect it has on a patient