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Higher Physiotherapy Frequency Is Associated with Shorter Length of Stay and Greater Functional Recovery in Hospitalized Frail Older Adults: A Retrospective Observational Study.

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Adamson, J 
Cunningham, C 
Embleton, G 
Romero-Ortuno, Roman  ORCID logo


Extra physiotherapy has been associated with better outcomes in hospitalized patients, but this remains an under-researched area in geriatric medicine wards. We retrospectively studied the association between average physiotherapy frequency and outcomes in hospitalized geriatric patients. High frequency physiotherapy (HFP) was defined as ≥0.5 contacts/day. Of 358 eligible patients, 131 (36.6%) received low, and 227 (63.4%) HFP. Functional improvement (discharge versus admission) in the modified Rankin scale was greater in the HFP group (1.1 versus 0.7 points, P<0.001). The mean length of stay (LOS) of the HFP group was 6 days shorter (7 versus 13 days, P<0.001). After adjusting for age, gender, comorbidity (Charlson index), frailty (Clinical Frailty Scale), dementia and acute illness severity, HFP was an independent predictor of functional improvement, shorter LOS and likelihood of being discharged without a formal care package. Prospective research is needed to examine the effect of physiotherapy frequency and intensity in geriatric wards.



Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Comorbidity, Dementia, Female, Frail Elderly, Geriatric Assessment, Hospitalization, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Patient Discharge, Patient Outcome Assessment, Physical Therapy Modalities, Recovery of Function, Retrospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, United Kingdom

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The Journal of Frailty and Aging

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Serdi Publishing Company
Funding was not required for this study.