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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jun;94(6):1038-47. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.12.024. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Rehabilitation in home care is associated with functional improvement and preferred discharge.

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  • 1Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.



To investigate the impact of physiotherapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) services on long-stay home care patients with musculoskeletal disorders.


Observational study.


Home care programs.


All long-stay home care patients between 2003 and 2008 (N=99,764) with musculoskeletal disorders who received a baseline Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care assessment, 1 follow-up assessment, and had discharge or death records.


PT and OT.


The effects of PT and OT services on transitions in functional state, discharge from home care with service plans complete, institutionalization, and death were assessed via multistate Markov models.


Home care patients with deficiencies in instrumental activities of daily living and/or activities of daily living at baseline and who received home-based rehabilitation had significantly increased odds of showing functional improvements by their next assessment (for a state 3 to state 2 transition: odds ratio [OR]=1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-1.26; P<.0001; for a state 2 to state 1 transition: OR=1.36; 95% CI, 1.14-1.61; P=.0005). Receipt of PT/OT also significantly reduced the odds of mortality and institutionalization in this group.


With increasing numbers of older adults with chronic conditions and limited funding for health care services, it is essential to provide the right services at the right time in a cost-effective manner. Long-stay home care patients who receive rehabilitation at home have improved outcomes and lower utilization of costly health services. Our findings suggest that investment in PT and OT services for relatively short periods may provide savings to the health care system over the longer term.

Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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