Kortebein P. Rehabilitation for hospital-associated deconditioning. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2009;88:66–77
Functional decline associated with acute hospitalization may be termed “hospital-associated deconditioning.” This seems to be a relatively common problem, with older adults most frequently affected. As the older adult population in the United States is projected to double by 2030, the incidence of this condition is likely to increase in a similar manner. Despite the prevalence of hospital-associated deconditioning, there is a paucity of research examining the functional recovery and rehabilitation of these patients. The available evidence to date indicates that acute inpatient rehabilitation seems to be effective for improving function in patients with hospital-associated deconditioning. However, there are no studies examining other rehabilitation programs or long-term outcomes after rehabilitation in this patient population. The purpose of this article is to review the current state of knowledge regarding the rehabilitation of patients with hospital-associated deconditioning, including terminology, epidemiology, etiology, current rehabilitation recommendations, and future areas of research.