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Do older adults benefit from post-acute care following hospitalisation? A prospective cohort study at three Swiss nursing homes


Thalmann, Marion; Tröster, Thomas; Fischer, Karina; Bieri-Brüning, Gabriele; Beeler, Patrick E; Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike A; Gagesch, Michael (2020). Do older adults benefit from post-acute care following hospitalisation? A prospective cohort study at three Swiss nursing homes. Swiss Medical Weekly, 150:w20198.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Post-acute care (PAC) programmes appear favourable for older adult inpatients too fragile to be discharged home without extensive support, but otherwise not qualifying for specific rehabilitation. Consequently, many Swiss nursing homes have opened PAC wards after a new federal law refined reimbursement in 2012. However, PAC outcomes in this setting have not been well studied.

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the functional outcomes of a nursing home-based PAC programme for older adult patients and to evaluate the influences of age, gender and frailty status on these outcomes.

METHODS

This was a prospective cohort study in 135 consecutive patients aged 60 and older admitted to PAC at three nursing homes in Zurich, Switzerland, over a two-month period. Geriatric assessment at admission included mobility, physical performance, cognition, nutrition, frailty, activities of daily living (ADL) and social support. The primary outcomes of the study, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), handgrip strength (HGS) and Barthel Index (BI), were repeated before discharge from PAC. Multivariable linear models were used to analyse differences between these primary outcomes at admission and discharge, adjusting for baseline age, gender, BMI, length of stay (LOS), polypharmacy, cognition, and prior living status.

RESULTS

We identified statistically significant improvements between admission and discharge (mean [95% confidence interval]; % change) in BI (69.0 [65.0–72.9] vs 79.6 [75.6–83.6]; +15.4%), gait speed (0.55 [0.48–0.62] vs 0.65 [0.58–0.71] m/s; +18.2%) and SPPB scores (5.5 [5.0–6.1] vs 6.9 [6.3–7.4]; +24%), p-values for all comparisons <0.001.
CONCLUSIONS

In this real-word sample, PAC resulted in a significant and clinically relevant improvement in physical performance and ADL. However, our study should be replicated with a larger sample. Furthermore, long-term outcomes of PAC warrant additional investigation.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Post-acute care (PAC) programmes appear favourable for older adult inpatients too fragile to be discharged home without extensive support, but otherwise not qualifying for specific rehabilitation. Consequently, many Swiss nursing homes have opened PAC wards after a new federal law refined reimbursement in 2012. However, PAC outcomes in this setting have not been well studied.

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the functional outcomes of a nursing home-based PAC programme for older adult patients and to evaluate the influences of age, gender and frailty status on these outcomes.

METHODS

This was a prospective cohort study in 135 consecutive patients aged 60 and older admitted to PAC at three nursing homes in Zurich, Switzerland, over a two-month period. Geriatric assessment at admission included mobility, physical performance, cognition, nutrition, frailty, activities of daily living (ADL) and social support. The primary outcomes of the study, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), handgrip strength (HGS) and Barthel Index (BI), were repeated before discharge from PAC. Multivariable linear models were used to analyse differences between these primary outcomes at admission and discharge, adjusting for baseline age, gender, BMI, length of stay (LOS), polypharmacy, cognition, and prior living status.

RESULTS

We identified statistically significant improvements between admission and discharge (mean [95% confidence interval]; % change) in BI (69.0 [65.0–72.9] vs 79.6 [75.6–83.6]; +15.4%), gait speed (0.55 [0.48–0.62] vs 0.65 [0.58–0.71] m/s; +18.2%) and SPPB scores (5.5 [5.0–6.1] vs 6.9 [6.3–7.4]; +24%), p-values for all comparisons <0.001.
CONCLUSIONS

In this real-word sample, PAC resulted in a significant and clinically relevant improvement in physical performance and ADL. However, our study should be replicated with a larger sample. Furthermore, long-term outcomes of PAC warrant additional investigation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Geriatric Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > General Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Medicine
Language:English
Date:24 February 2020
Deposited On:02 Dec 2020 12:26
Last Modified:07 Jan 2021 09:55
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:0036-7672
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2020.20198
PubMed ID:32108929

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