Comparison of functional outcomes associated with hospital at home care and traditional acute hospital care

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Feb;57(2):273-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02103.x. Epub 2008 Dec 11.


Objectives: To compare differences in the functional outcomes experienced by patients cared for in Hospital at Home (HaH) and traditional acute hospital care.

Design: Survey questionnaire of participants in a prospective nonrandomized clinical trial.

Setting: Three Medicare managed care health systems and a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Participants: Two hundred fourteen community-dwelling elderly patients who required acute hospital admission for community-acquired pneumonia, exacerbations of chronic heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or cellulitis, 84 of whom were treated in HaH and 130 in an acute care hospital.

Intervention: Treatment in a HaH care model that substitutes for care provided in the traditional acute care hospital.

Measurements: Change in activity of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) scores from 1 month before admission to 2 weeks post admission to HaH or acute hospital and the proportion of groups that experienced improvement, no change, or decline in ADL and IADL scores.

Results: Patients treated in HaH experienced modest improvements in performance scores, whereas those treated in the acute care hospital declined (ADL, 0.39 vs -0.60, P=.10, range -12.0 to 7.0; IADL 0.74 vs -0.70, P=.007, range -5.0 to 10.0); a greater proportion of HaH patients improved in function and smaller proportions declined or had no change in ADLs (44% vs 25%, P=.10) or IADLs (46% vs 17%, P=.04).

Conclusion: HaH care is associated with modestly better improvements in IADL status and trends toward more improvement in ADL status than traditional acute hospital care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Cellulitis / therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Home Care Services*
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Managed Care Programs
  • Pneumonia / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome