Premorbid Activity Limitation Stages Are Associated with Post-Hospitalization Discharge Disposition

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Activity of daily living (ADL) stages and instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) stage have demonstrated associations with mortality and health service utilization among older adults. This cohort study aims to assess the associations of premorbid activity limitation stages with acute hospital discharge disposition among community-dwelling older adults.


Study participants were Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older who enrolled in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) between 2001 and 2009. Associations of premorbid stages with discharge dispositions were estimated with multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for covariates.


The proportions of elderly Medicare patients discharged to home with self-care, home with services, post-acute care facilities, and other dispositions were 59%, 15%, 19%, and 7%, respectively. The adjusted relative risk ratios (RRR) and 95% confidence intervals of post-acute care facilities versus home with self-care discharge increased with higher premorbid activity limitation stages (except non-fitting stage III): 1.7 (1.5-2.0), 2.4 (2.0-2.9), 2.4 (1.9-3.0), and 2.5 (1.6-4.1) for ADL stages I-IV; a similar pattern was found for IADL stages. The adjusted RRRs of discharge to home with services also increased with higher premorbid activity limitation stages compared to no limitation.


Routinely assessed activity limitation stages predict post-hospitalization discharge disposition among older adults, and may be used to anticipate post-acute care and services utilization by elderly Medicare beneficiaries.

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