Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 8, 2013
   Pages 1089 — 1098

Abstract — Relationship between cognition and gait performance in older adults receiving physical therapy interventions in the home

Susan L. Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA;1–2* Gregory F. Marchetti, PT, PhD;3 Jennifer Ellis, PT, DPT, MS;4 Laurie Otis, PT, MBA, MHA;4 Faisal Asiri, PT, PhD;1,5 Ahmad Alghadir, PT, PhD6

Departments of 1Physical Therapy and 2Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; 3Department of Physical Therapy, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA; 4Gentiva Health Services, Atlanta, GA; 5Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia; 6Rehabilitation Research Chair, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abstract — Persons undergoing physical therapy home services often have difficulty with mobility and gait. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a relationship between gait and a rating of cognitive functioning in persons undergoing home-care physical therapy services. Patients over the age of 65 (n = 11,601) seen by a home-care agency between 2007 and 2008 were included in the retrospective analysis, and 10,953 (mean +/– standard deviation age 83.2 +/– 7.1; 31%) met the criteria of being able to ambulate independently or with an assistive device. All patients attempted to perform the modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration and Balance plus either the Performance Oriented Measurement Assessment (POMA) or the Dynamic Gait Index (DGI). Mental function was scored as part of the Outcome and Assessment Information Set. A multivariate model with adjustment for age and sex identified gait performance as measured by the DGI to be independently associated with the likelihood that a patient required cognitive prompting (p = 0.03). Both the DGI and POMA scores were independently associated with requiring assistance/dependence with cognitive tasks. There was a strong relationship between cognition and gait performance in persons undergoing physical therapy interventions in the home. Changes in gait may be related to cognitive decline.

Key words: balance, cognition, falls, gait, home care, measurement, older adults, Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS), physical therapy, residence.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 7
This article and any supplemental material should be cited as follows:
Whitney SL, Marchetti GF, Ellis J, Otis L, Asiri F, Alghadir A. Relationship between cognition and gait performance in older adults receiving physical therapy interventions in the home. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013:50(8): 1089–98.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2012.06.0119
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