Inaccuracy of Initial Clinical Mobility Assessment in Venous Thromboembolism Risk Stratification

Erik H. Hoyer, Aditya Bhave, Wingel Xue, Elliott R. Haut, Brandyn D. Lau, Peggy Kraus, Alison E. Turnbull, Dauryne Shaffer, Lisa Aronson Friedman, Daniel Young, Daniel J. Brotman, Michael B. Streiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Venous thromboembolism risk increases in hospitals due to reduced patient mobility. However, initial mobility evaluations for thromboembolism risk are often subjective and lack standardization, potentially leading to inaccurate risk assessments and insufficient prevention. Methods: A retrospective study at a quaternary academic hospital analyzed patients using the Padua risk tool, which includes a mobility question, and the Johns Hopkins-Highest Level of Mobility (JH-HLM) scores to objectively measure mobility. Reduced mobility was defined as JH-HLM scores ≤3 over ≥3 consecutive days. The study evaluated the association between reduced mobility and hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism using multivariable logistic regression, comparing admitting health care professional assessments with JH-HLM scores. Symptomatic, hospital-acquired thromboembolisms were diagnosed radiographically by treating providers. Results: Of 1715 patients, 33 (1.9%) developed venous thromboembolism. Reduced mobility, as determined by the JH-HLM scores, showed a significant association with thromboembolic events (adjusted OR: 2.53, 95%CI:1.23-5.22, P = .012). In contrast, the initial Padua assessment of expected reduced mobility at admission did not. The JH-HLM identified 19.1% of patients as having reduced mobility versus 6.5% by admitting health care professionals, suggesting 37 high-risk patients were misclassified as low risk and were not prescribed thrombosis prophylaxis; 4 patients developed thromboembolic events. JH-HLM detected reduced mobility in 36% of thromboembolic cases, compared to 9% by admitting health care professionals. Conclusion: Initial mobility evaluations by admitting health care professionals during venous thromboembolism risk assessment may not reflect patient mobility over their hospital stay. This highlights the need for objective measures like JH-HLM in risk assessments to improve accuracy and potentially reduce thromboembolism incidents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-781
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number8
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Patient mobility
  • Risk assessment
  • Venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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