Intensive rehabilitative therapy significantly promotes physical and psychological function with pain reduction in older patients, say authors of an article published online in Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
Researchers enrolled all patients with functional decline after an acute illness admitted to the post-acute care (PAC) unit of a community hospital in Taiwan between July 2007 and December 2010. Patients enrolled before April 2009 received usual rehabilitation (40 minutes per day 5 days per week). Patients enrolled after April 2009 received increased rehabilitation (80 minutes per day 5 days per week). Researchers measured functional improvement by comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) at admission and 4 weeks after admission to the PAC unit.
Overall, 458 patients (mean age: 83.4±5.5 years, all males) completed PAC services. Compared with all dimensions in CGA, increased dosage of rehabilitative therapy showed significantly better improvement in daily living activities (Barthel index 28.8±18.4 vs 20.0±14.6), depressive mood (geriatric depression score short form -0.5±1.0 vs -0.1±0.5), and pain reduction (numerical rating scale -2.0±2.2 vs -0.9±2.1), but not in cognitive function (mini-mental status examination 2.9±3.3 vs 3.3.±5.2) and nutritional status (body mass index 0.3±0.9 vs 0.3±2.5).