Physical rehabilitation may be helpful for patients in extended care

January 01, 0001

Physical rehabilitation may be helpful for patients in extended care

These British researchers sought to determine the effects of physical rehabilitation for geriatric patients in extended care facilities. They performed a systematic review of randomised controlled trials using the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL, PEDro, British Nursing Index, ASSIA, IBSS, PsychINFO, DARE, HMIC, NHS EED, HTA, Web of Science, AsLib Index to UK Theses and Dissertation Abstracts, the National Research Register, Medical Research Council Register, CRIB, Current Controlled Trials and HSRPRoj. The primary outcome was measures of activity restriction.

The researchers report: "49 trials were identified involving 3,611 subjects with an average age of 82 years. Intervention duration was typically 12 weeks with a treatment intensity of three 30-min sessions per week. Exercise was the main component of the interventions. The mean attendance rate for 17 studies was 84% (range 71-97%). Thirty-three trials, including the nine trials recruiting over 100 subjects, reported positive findings, mostly improvement in mobility but also strength, flexibility and balance."

The authors concluded: "physical rehabilitation for older people in long-term care is acceptable and potentially effective. Larger scale studies are needed to confirm the findings and should include longer term follow-up and assessment for possible harms"

This systematic review found evidence that physical rehabilitation can be beneficial in geriatric patients in extended care facilities, at least in the short term.

For the full abstract, click here.

Age and aging 39(2):169-175, February 2010
© 2010 Forster et al.
Is physical rehabilitation for older people in long-term care effective? Findings from a systematic review. Anne Forster, Ruth Lambley and John B. Young. Correspondence to Anne Forster: [email protected]

Category: M. Musculoskeletal. Keywords: rehabilitation, long-term care, elderly, exercise, mobility, systematic review, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 9 March 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.