Tel: (613) 549-6666 x 7984 Kidd House, 100 Stuart Street Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

CAT 2014-06

E-CYCLE: A pilot randomized clinical trial of early in-bed cycling in elderly, mechanically ventilated patients

In this study all patients received treatments and had their strength tested by specially trained physiotherapists. Patients received one of two treatments: (1) in-bed cycling plus routine physiotherapy (PT) or (2) routine PT alone. Patients were assigned to either treatment in a manner similar to flipping a coin.

Research Results

Findings: Results showed that a multi-centre early in-bed cycling study in critically ill elderly patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) is feasible. A larger study is ongoing.

Impact of findings: This project is the first to study a multi-centre rehabilitation intervention in elderly critically ill. It is a crucial first step
to understanding the potential of in-bed cycling to improve the recovery of older ICU survivors in the ICU, in the hospital and after ICU discharge. This study advances our knowledge of complex, multi-disciplinary rehabilitation interventions in critically ill elderly patients. It will inform future efforts to study health outcomes in elderly patients who survive critical care.

Publications, presentations and webinars

For more information on why this research matters, click the links below:

Policy        Families        Researchers

About the Project

Patients in the ICU are the sickest in the hospital, and need advanced life-support. Survivors of critical illness are typically very weak and disabled. Up to one in four have severe leg weakness impairing their quality of life for as long as five years after ICU discharge. Older adults are particularly at risk of weakness, and can lose up to 4% leg strength per day due to bed rest. 

In-bed cycling uses special equipment that attaches to a patient’s hospital bed, allowing them gentle leg exercise while in the ICU. The main goal of this research program was to see if patients who need a breathing machine recover faster if they receive early in-bed cycling than those who do not.

For more details on the project rationale, hypothesis, objectives and research plan, click here.

Project Team

Principal Investigator:

Michelle Kho, PT, PhD -- McMaster University


Karen Burns, MD, MSc, FRCPC -- St. Michael's Hospital

Deborah Cook, MD, MSc -- McMaster University

Alison Fox-Robichaud, MD, MSc -- McMaster University

Margaret Herridge, MD, MPH -- University of Toronto

Timothy Karachi, MD -- McMaster University

Karen Koo, MD, MSc -- University of Western Ontario

Sunita Mathur, PT, PhD -- University of Toronto

Marina Mourtzakis, PhD -- University of Waterloo

Joseph Pellizzari, PhD, CPsych -- St. Joseph's Healthcare

Jill Rudkowski, MD -- McMaster University

Andrew Seely, MD, PhD -- University of Ottawa

Jean-Eric Tarride, PhD -- McMaster University

Knowledge Users and Partners:

Vincent Lo, PT -- Toronto General Hospital

Magda McCaughan, MSc(PT) -- St. Joseph's Healthcare

Leigh Ann Niven, MSc, MSc(PT) -- Hamilton Health Sciences (Juravinski ICU)

Julie Reid, MSc, MSc(PT) -- Hamilton Health Sciences (General ICU)

Project Contact: Michelle Kho --

CAT 2014-06

Key words: critical illness; intensive care units; cycle ergometry; muscle; respiration; elderly