Study: Six-Day Inpatient PT and OT Programs Improve Independence

better-rehabA recent study suggests that providing an additional day of rehabilitation improved functional independence and quality of life at discharge in patients with orthopedic, neurological, or other disabling conditions. The results also indicate the additional day of rehabilitation may also have reduced the length of stay for patients receiving inpatient rehabilitation.

The researchers report that the study ultimately aimed to determine the impact that providing additional Saturday rehabilitation during inpatient rehabilitation had on functional independence, quality of life, and length of stay compared to 5 days per week of rehabilitation. The study was a multicenter, single-blind randomized controlled trial, researchers say, with concealed allocation and 12-month follow-up conducted in two publically funded metropolitan inpatient rehabilitation facilities in Melbourne, Australia.

Patients were eligible for the study if they were 18 years old or older and had been admitted for rehabilitation for any orthopedic, neurological, or other disabling conditions with the exception of patients admitted for slow stream rehabilitation/geriatric evaluation and management. During the study, participants were randomly assigned to either usual care Monday to Friday or to Monday to Saturday rehabilitation. The additional Saturday rehabilitation offered physiotherapy and occupational therapy. The researchers note that they used primary outcomes that included functional independence, health-related quality of life, and patient length of stay.

The outcome measures were reportedly assessed on admission, discharge (primary end point), and at 6 and 12 months post discharge. The researchers state that among 996 adults with a mean age of 74 years, 496 were assigned Monday to Saturday rehabilitation and 500 adults received usual care Monday to Friday rehabilitation. The results suggest that relative to admission scores, intervention group participants had higher functional independence and health-related quality of life on discharge and may have had a shorter length of stay by 2 days when compared to control participants.

The study notes that intervention participants were 17% more likely to have achieved a clinically significant change in functional independence of 22 FIM points or more and 18% more likely to have achieved a clinically significant change in health-related quality of life on discharge when compared to the control group. The researchers add that no difference was observed in the number of adverse events between the groups.

The full study appears here

[Source: BMC Medicine]