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Age Ageing. 2006 Sep;35(5):487-91. Epub 2006 Jun 13.

Comprehensive geriatric assessment and home-based rehabilitation for elderly people with a history of recurrent non-elective hospital admissions.

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Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK.



To determine whether a co-ordinated programme of geriatric assessment and multidisciplinary home-based rehabilitation reduces disability and prevents non-elective hospital readmission in high-risk elderly patients.


Nested case-control study comparing usual post-discharge care versus usual care plus a comprehensive geriatric assessment and home-based rehabilitation service, comprising nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy with geriatric medical review. Patients were >or=65 years with >or=2 non-elective hospital admissions within the previous 12 months. Disability was assessed using the 100-point Barthel index and Nottingham extended activities of daily living (EADL) score. Non-elective hospital admissions were recorded over 1-year follow-up.


We studied 84 patients; 56 receiving the new service were matched to 28 controls. Intervention subjects received a median of 19 h [interquartile range (IQR) (7,35)] rehabilitation over 19 [IQR (6,42)] domiciliary visits. At 3 months, there was improvement in median Barthel and Nottingham EADL scores in the intervention group of 3 and 2 points, respectively, compared with reductions in controls of 3 and 6 points (both P<0.001, changes in intervention group versus controls); similar differences persisted in survivors at 12 months. There was a non-significant trend for reduction in the proportion of patients with further non-elective hospital admission in the intervention group (36/56, 64%) compared with controls (21/28, 75%; OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.34, 1.46).


A co-ordinated programme of geriatric assessment and multidisciplinary home-based rehabilitation reduced disability in elderly patients at high risk for non-elective hospital admission. Further research is required to determine whether this approach can reduce the need for hospital admission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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