Establishing an Inpatient Gym for Recipients of Stem Cell Transplantation: A Multidisciplinary Collaborative

Roxanne Blackburn

Kimberly Presson

Robin Laufman

Nancy Tomczak

Kelly J. Brassil

stem cell transplantation, physical activity, inpatient gym, nursing intervention, physical and occupational therapy
CJON 2016, 20(1), 66-71. DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.66-71

Background: Evidence suggests that exercise can have a profound impact on physiologic and quality-of-life outcomes for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Despite this, implementation of a gym on inpatient HSCT units may be limited because of space, infrastructure, and budget.

Objectives: This article presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of the gym and highlights its use for individual and group patient activities.

Methods: An interprofessional team at a National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center collaborated to design and implement gym space on an inpatient HSCT unit servicing as many as 86 beds.

Findings: Informal feedback from patients, as well as metrics on use of the space, indicates that the gym is well received and frequently used. Limitations include the absence of a designated physical therapy technician to supervise individual activity, which may limit patient access when a staff member is unavailable. The cost associated with the implementation of such space may be offset by benefits to patients, including enhanced conditioning, quality of life, and time to discharge, as evidenced in the literature.

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