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The relation between therapy intensity and outcomes of rehabilitation in skilled nursing facilities

      Abstract

      Jette DU, Warren RL, Wirtalla C. The relation between therapy intensity and outcomes of rehabilitation in skilled nursing facilities.

      Objective

      To examine the relation between therapy intensity, including physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech and language therapy (SLT), provided in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) setting and patients’ outcomes as measured by length of stay (LOS) and stage of functional independence as measured by the FIM instrument.

      Design

      A retrospective analysis of secondary data from an administrative dataset compiled and owned by SeniorMetrix Inc.

      Setting

      Seventy SNFs under contract with SeniorMetrix health plan clients.

      Participants

      Patients with stroke, orthopedic conditions, and cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions (N=4988) covered by Medicare+Choice plans, and admitted to an SNF in 2002.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main outcomes measures

      LOS and improvement in stage of independence in the mobility, activities of daily living (ADLs), and executive control domains of function as determined by the FIM instrument.

      Results

      Higher therapy intensity was associated with shorter LOS (P<.05). Higher PT and OT intensities were associated with greater odds of improving by at least 1 stage in mobility and ADL functional independence across each condition (P<.05). The OT intensity was associated with an improved executive control stage for patients with stroke, and PT and OT intensities were associated with improved executive control stage for patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions (P<.05). The SLT intensity was associated with improved motor and executive control functional stages for patients with stroke (P<.05). Therapy intensities accounted for small proportions of model variances in all outcomes.

      Conclusions

      Higher therapy intensity was associated with better outcomes as they relate to LOS and functional improvement for patients who have stroke, orthopedic conditions, and cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions and are receiving rehabilitation in the SNF setting.

      Key words

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