Purpose: This study was conducted to investigate the trend in functional changes over time and factors associated with the number of areas showing functional decline in older adults who had been discharged from acute care hospitals.
Methods: This longitudinal study involved 156 patients aged ≥ 65 years who were admitted to one tertiary hospital in Seoul and discharged home. Authors investigated patient demographic and health-care characteristics and the number of areas showing functional decline at 1 and 3 months after discharge. The data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate Poisson regression models.
Results: The number of areas showing functional decline increased between admission and 1 month after discharge and had declined slightly at 3 months after discharge. The factors associated with the number of areas showing functional decline at 3 months after discharge were age, education level, and length of hospitalization (p < .05); the factors associated at 1 month after discharge were medical department and caregiver relationship (p < .05).
Conclusion: The results indicate that older patients with no spouse or those with their elderly spouse as their caregiver are at risk of functional decline in a greater number of areas after discharge. Therefore, a comprehensive health-care policy to ensure care continuity is required for functional health maintenance for older adults after hospital discharge.
Keywords: aged; health; hospitals; socioeconomic factors.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.