To examine whether hospital-based physical therapy is associated with functional changes and early hospital readmission among hospitalized older adults with community-acquired pneumonia and declining physical function. Study design was a retrospective observation study. Participants were community-dwelling older adults admitted to medicine floor for community-acquired pneumonia (n = 1,058). Their physical function using Katz activities of daily living (ADL) Index declined between hospital admission and 48 hours since hospital admission (Katz ADL Index 6→5). The intervention group was those receiving physical therapy for ≥ 0.5 hour/day. Outcomes were Katz ADL Index at hospital discharge and all-cause 30-day hospital readmission rate. The intervention and control groups did not differ in the Katz ADL Index at hospital discharge (p = 0.11). All-cause 30-day hospital readmission rate was lower in the intervention than in control groups (OR = 0.65, p = 0.02). Hospital-based physical therapy has the benefits toward reducing 30-day hospital readmission rate of acutely ill older adults with community-acquired pneumonia and declining physical function.
Keywords: hospitalization; patient outcome assessment; physical therapy; pneumonia.