Physical activity and early rehabilitation in hospitalized elderly medical patients: Systematic review of randomized clinical trials
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To critically review the effect of interventions incorporating exercise and early rehabilitation (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physical activity) in the functional outcomes (i.e., active daily living tests, such as Barthel Index Scores, Timed-up-and go, mobility tests), and feasibility in hospitalized elderly medical patients.
Systematic review of the literature.
A literature search was conducted using the following databases and medical resources from 1966 to January 2014: PubMed (Medline), PEDro, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Google Scholar, ClinicalTrials.gov, Clinical Evidence, SportsDiscus, EMBASE and UptoDate. Studies must have mentioned the effects of early rehabilitation on the above mentioned functional outcomes and feasibility. Data on the mortality, economic profile and average stay were also described.
From the 6564 manuscripts potentially related to exercise performance in hospitalized elderly patients, the review focused on 1086, and 17 articles were ultimately included. Regarding functional outcomes after discharge, four studies observed significant improvement in functional outcomes following early rehabilitation, even up to twelve months after discharge. Eight studies directly or indirectly assessed the economic impact of exercise intervention. Five of them did not show any increase in costs, while three concluded that the intervention was cost effective. No adverse effect related with the interventions were mentioned.
The introduction of an exercise program for hospitalized elderly patients may be feasible, and may not increase costs. Importantly, early rehabilitation may also improve the functional and healthcare.
KeywordsAcute care hospital aged feasibility physical performance
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