Association of age, function, and discharge disposition among patients referred for physical therapy in an acute care hospital

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Abstract

The purpose of this retrospective document analysis was to describe the association of age, function, and discharge disposition among 1055 patients (aged 60 years or more) who were referred for physical therapy over a 30-month period in an acute care hospital. Bed mobility, transfer, locomotion, and stair-climbing functions were described by the Functional Independence Measure system. Discharge disposition was described by a five-level ordinal scoring system (0 = death to 4 = home). Patients were assigned to orthopedic and other (nonorthopedic) groups. Age was associated significantly with both discharge disposition and functional scores. The correlations of age with function were higher for the orthopedic group than the other group. Functional scores had higher correlations with discharge disposition than did age. As function is potentially alterable, the findings of this study should be encouraging to professionals involved in the rehabilitation of hospitalized patients.

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