Objectives: To explore whether baseline scores on the Mobility Assessment Tool-short form (MAT-sf), a brief, animated, computer-based means of assessing mobility that predicts mobility disability, are associated with number of hospitalizations and time to first hospitalization over a median follow-up of 2.7 years.
Design: Post hoc analysis of prospectively gathered data from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study, a randomized clinical trial of lifestyle interventions to preserve mobility in older adults.
Setting: Eight U.S. academic medical centers.
Participants: Of 1,635 sedentary community-dwelling older adults enrolled in LIFE, 1,574 completed baseline physical function screening including the MAT-sf, with baseline scores ranging from 30.2 (low function) to 69.8 (high function) on a scale from 30 to 80.
Measurements: Number of hospitalizations and time to first hospitalization, adjusted for age, sex, race, living alone, clinical site, baseline comorbidities, number of prescription medications, and cognition.
Results: Of the 1,557 participants with data regarding hospitalization status, 726 (47%) had at least 1 hospitalization; 78% of these had 1 or 2 hospitalizations. For every 10-point lower MAT-sf score, the rate of all hospitalizations was 19% higher in those with lower scores (adjusted rate ratio=1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.08-1.32, p<.001). Lower baseline MAT-sf scores were also associated with greater risk of first hospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio=1.20, 95% CI=1.09-1.32, p<.01, per 10-point lower MAT-sf score).
Conclusion: Low MAT-sf scores identify older adults at risk of hospitalization; further study is needed to test interventions to reduce hospitalizations in these individuals.
Keywords: hospitalization; mobility; physical function.
© 2018, Copyright the Author Journal compilation © 2018, The American Geriatrics Society.