Progressive multi-component home-based physical therapy for deconditioned older adults following acute hospitalization: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Clin Rehabil. 2016 Aug;30(8):776-85. doi: 10.1177/0269215515603219. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Objective: To determine whether a progressive multicomponent physical therapy intervention in the home setting can improve functional mobility for deconditioned older adults following acute hospitalization.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Patient homes in the Denver, CO, metropolitan area.

Participants: A total of 22 homebound older adults age 65 and older (mean ± SD; 85.4 ±7.83); 12 were randomized to intervention group and 10 to the control group.

Intervention: The progressive multicomponent intervention consisted of home-based progressive strength, mobility and activities of daily living training. The control group consisted of usual care rehabilitation.

Measurements: A 4-meter walking speed, modified Physical Performance Test, Short Physical Performance Battery, 6-minute walk test.

Results: At the 60-day time point, the progressive multicomponent intervention group had significantly greater improvements in walking speed (mean change: 0.36 m/s vs. 0.14 m/s, p = 0.04), modified physical performance test (mean change: 6.18 vs. 0.98, p = 0.02) and Short Physical Performance Battery scores (mean change: 2.94 vs. 0.38, p = 0.02) compared with the usual care group. The progressive multicomponent intervention group also had a trend towards significant improvement in the 6-minute walk test at 60 days (mean change: 119.65 m vs. 19.28 m; p = 0.07). No adverse events associated with intervention were recorded.

Conclusions: The progressive multicomponent intervention improved patient functional mobility following acute hospitalization more than usual care. Results from this study support the safety and feasibility of conducting a larger randomized controlled trial of progressive multicomponent intervention in this population. A more definitive study would require 150 patients to verify these conclusions given the effect sizes observed.

Keywords: Home rehabilitation; functional fitness; older adults; rehabilitation interventions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Homebound Persons*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Pilot Projects