Proefschrift Marije Sara Holstege: The road to successful geriatric rehabilitation
Although geriatric rehabilitation (GR) is beneficial for restoration of activities and participation after hospitalization of vulnerable older persons, little is known about the optimal organization of care of these postacute facilities. This study examines the relationship of patient volume and service concentration with successful GR (short length of stay and discharge home) in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).
A national multicenter retrospective cohort study.
Setting and participants
All patients indicated for GR in a Dutch SNF.
Nurses filled out digital registration forms from patient records. Patients were studied in 3 predefined diagnostic groups: total joint replacement, traumatic injuries, and stroke. Facility characteristics were obtained by structured telephone interviews with facility managers. Volume was based on the number of discharges in a 3-month period and categorized in low-, medium-, and high-volume facilities. Concentration was defined at the organizational level in which the population consists of 80% or more of 1 or 2 diagnostic groups, with the prerequisite of having a minimum of 10 rehabilitation beds.
From 88 facilities, 2269 GR patients (mean age 78.2 years [SD 9.7]; 68.2% female) were included. The median length of stay in the SNF was 45 days (interquartile range 23-81), 57% of the patients were discharged home, and 9.8% died during GR. Of patients with total joint replacement (n = 501), concentration was related to successful rehabilitation (odds ratio 5.7; 95% confidence interval 1.3-24.3; P= .020, adjusted for age and gender); this relationship was not found for patients with traumatic injuries or stroke. Volume showed no relation with successful rehabilitation in any of the 3 diagnostic groups.
This study may indicate that concentration in an SNF, as a proxy for specialization, favors successful GR in total joint replacement. This relationship was not found for the traumatic injuries or stroke groups, or for volume. The relation on functional outcome in GR needs further investigation.