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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 43 Number 7, November/December 2006
Pages 939 — 946


Abstract - Exercise program implementation proves not feasible during acute care hospitalization

Cynthia J. Brown, MD, MSPH;1-2* Claire Peel, PhD, PT;3 Marcas M. Bamman, PhD;4 Richard M. Allman, MD1-2

1Birmingham/Atlanta Department of Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Birmingham, AL; 2Department of Medicine, 3School of Health Professions, and 4Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Abstract — Functional decline during hospitalization occurs in up to 65% of older adults. This study determined the feasibility of an inpatient followed by an in-home exercise program for patients with limited ambulatory ability on hospital admission. Patients aged Š 60 years who were admitted to the hospital with an acute medical illness associated with limited ambulatory ability were eligible for the study. Of 76 eligible patients, 10 were recruited, with only 1 patient completing the 24-week exercise program. Barriers to recruitment included illness severity, short hospital stays, and patient refusal. Hospital readmission during the in-home exercise program occurred for three of the seven exercise group participants. In the exercise group, four of the seven patients participated in at least 3 weeks of exercise posthospitalization. Qualitative interviews suggested most patients believed exercise to be beneficial, but this interest did not translate into adherence to this study protocol. Initiation of an inpatient exercise program was not feasible in the study population. The in-home program was more feasible but target criteria need refinement.
Key words: activities of daily living, exercise, feasibility studies, frail elderly, geriatrics, hospitalization, recovery of function, rehabilitation, veterans, walking.

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