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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013 Apr;14(4):300-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2012.12.003. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

Direct admission to intermediate care for older adults with reactivated chronic diseases as an alternative to conventional hospitalization.

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Hospital Socio-Sanitari Pere Virgili, Barcelona, Spain.



When reactivations of chronic diseases cannot be managed at home, postacute intermediate-care geriatric units (ICGUs) might provide adequate and specialized support to primary care, based on comprehensive geriatric assessment and rehabilitation.


To explore if direct admission to ICGUs of older adults with reactivated chronic diseases or acute common conditions superimposed to chronic diseases might be an alternative clinical pathway to conventional acute hospitalization followed by intermediate care rehabilitation.


Quasiexperimental pilot study. We compared characteristics at admission and outcomes at discharge between two groups admitted to our ICGU: the first one admitted directly, and the second one admitted to complete treatment and rehabilitation after discharge from acute hospital.


Sixty-five patients from the same primary care area (mean age ± SD 85.6 ± 7.2, 66% women) were admitted to the ICGU for the same main diagnostics, mainly reactivation of heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: 32 directly from home (DA) and 33 following acute hospital discharge (HD). Baseline clinical, functional, and social characteristics, as well as outcomes at discharge, including mortality and acute transfers, were comparable between groups. Global length of stay was significantly higher in HD, compared with DA (60.8 ± 26.6 vs 38.4 ± 23 days, P < .001).


From our preliminary results, direct admission to geriatric intermediate care units might represent a potential alternative to acute hospitalization for selected older patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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