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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1991 Aug;72(9):685-9.

Characteristics of hospital patients receiving medical rehabilitation: an exploratory outcome comparison.

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  • 1VA Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98108.


This study classified consecutive hospital admissions to acute medical and surgical wards (n = 3,170) into clinical subgroups based on diagnostic, prognostic, and functional criteria. The groups were (1) independent, (2) terminal, (3) medical, (4) dementia, and (5) rehabilitation candidate. Medical record data from hospital admission, discharge, and nine-month follow-up were collected. The groups had unique patterns of survival, residence, and use of health care services during follow-up. Rehabilitation participants were compared with a group similar in age, major diagnostic category, and functional ability, who did not receive rehabilitation. Only 21% of persons meeting the study criteria for rehabilitation actually received rehabilitation services. At follow-up, participants in rehabilitation had lower mortality, spent less time in skilled nursing care, and were less frequently hospitalized. Although exploratory in nature, this study supports previously observed benefits of rehabilitation. In combination with clinical assessment, the process of identifying patient subgroups may be useful in planning interventions more uniformly and in developing measures to reduce selection bias in rehabilitation admission decisions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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