Determinants of Physical Function Recovery in Elderly during Three Months Post-Hospitalization

Saturday, 26 July 2014: 8:30 AM

ChiaoWen Chang, BS
Management of Planning and Coordinating center, Yuan's General Hospital, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Ching-Huey Chen, PhD, RN
Institute of Allied Health Sciences & Department of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

Purpose: For many older adults, hospitalization can lead to functional decline because of diseases or activity restriction. Previous researches found that at least 30% hospitalized older adults experienced functional decline and this even influenced about 70% elders in Taiwan. Three months post-hospitalization elders, less than 75% of them could regain their previous physical function. Experience functional decline may not only affect the quality of life but else increase the mortality rate of elders.The aim of this study was to describe functional recovery and its determinants among elderly patient three months post-hospitalization.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional and correlational study, used secondary data analysis. The data originated from the research entitled “Risk Factors of Functional Decline in Hospitalized Elderly Patients” which supported by The National Science Council. Subjects recruited through convenience sampling from eight medical units at a university hospital in southern Taiwan. Subjects were patients aged ≥ 65 years without conscious disturbance and being able to communicate in Mandarin or Taiwanese. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Data of the subjects’ demographic information, diagnosis, Charlson comorbidity index, Mini-mental state examination, Katz ADL, exercise habits and associated information were retrieved. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 software was used to perform statistical analyses.

Results: More then half (54.22%) elderly persistent functional impairment at 3 months post-hospitalization. Regular exercise habits (OR = 3.789, 95% confidence interval = 1.430-10.039, p = 0.007) the only independent factor associated with functional recovery.

Conclusion: Regular exercise habits can be used as reference indicators predict functional recovery of the elderly after discharge. For those hospitalized elderly patient who has occurred or is prone to experience functional decline, interventions early are needed to enhanced their participation in regular exercise after discharge from hospital.