The influence of age on length of stay, functional independence and discharge destination of rehabilitation inpatients in Italy

L. Tesio, F. P. Franchignoni, L. Perucca, G. L. Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Advanced age in itself does not predict a poor functional outcome or a longer length of stay in rehabilitation units. Seven hundred and sixty-four adult cases were analysed, from 14 post-acute rehabilitation facilities throughout Italy. Data came from the national database run by the agency distributing the Italian version of an internationally validated scale of disability, the FIM® (Functional Independence Measure). The FIM is an 18-item scale rating independence in the domains of self-care, sphincter control, mobility, locomotion, communication and social cognition. The total FIM score may range from 18 to 126 (higher score = greater independence). Patients were classified with respect to the cut-off age of 75 years (76+ and 75-, mean age 82 and 57 years, n = 203 and 561, 27% and 73% of the cases, respectively). The median interval between onset of disability and admission to the facility (onset-to-admission delay, OAD) was 36 and 45 days in the 76+ and the 75- group, respectively (p <0.001). Mean admission FIM score was 70 (± 28) in the 76+ and 71 (± 27) in the 75- group. Discharge FIM scores were 84 ± 29 and 93 ± 26, respectively (p <0.001). Median length of stay (LOS) was 34 days in the 76+ and 41 days in the 75- group, respectively (p <0.005). The 76+ and 75- groups were discharged home in 86% and 90% of the cases, respectively (p = 0.053). The results suggest that inpatient rehabilitation is substantially effective and efficient for older as well as for younger patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-508
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume18
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • FIM
  • Length of stay
  • Outcome evaluation
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)

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