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Rehabilitation at Home May Lower Health Care Costs, Improve Outcomes

home rehabAccording to a new article published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, long-stay home care clients who receive rehabilitation may have improved outcomes and lower use of costly health services. The observational study included 99,764 home care clients with musculoskeletal disorders and was conducted in home care programs in Ontario, Canada.

The participants also had to have received a baseline screening using the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care, one follow-up assessment, and had a discharge or death records between 2003 and 2008. The effects of occupational and physical therapy services on transitions in function state, institutionalization, discharge from home care with service plans complete, and death were assessed using multistate Markov models.

The report notes that home care clients with deficiencies in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and/or activities of daily living at baseline and who received home-based rehabilitation has notably increased odds of showing functional improvements by their next assessment. In addition, receipt of occupational therapy or physical therapy also significantly reduced the odds of institutionalization and mortality in this group.

The findings of the study suggest that investment in physical therapy and occupational therapy services for fairly short periods of time may provide savings to the health care system over the long term in addition to lower use of health service and improved outcomes.

The authors of the study also state that it is essential to provide the right services at the right time in a cost-effective manner as there are an increasing number of older adults with chronic conditions and limited funding for health care services.

Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation