Fewer emergency readmissions and better quality of life for older adults at risk of hospital readmission: a randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a 24-week exercise and telephone follow-up program.

Courtney M, Edwards H, Chang A, Parker A, Finlayson K, Hamilton K.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of an exercise-based model of hospital and in-home follow-up care for older people at risk of hospital readmission on emergency health service utilization and quality of life. One hundred twenty-eight patients with an acute medical admission, aged 65 and older and with at least one risk factor for readmission underwent a comprehensive nursing and physiotherapy assessment and individualized program of exercise strategies and nurse-conducted home visit and telephone follow-up commencing in the hospital and continuing for 24 weeks after discharge. The intervention group required significantly fewer emergency hospital readmissions and emergency GP visits. The intervention group also reported significantly greater improvements in quality of life than the control group as measured using SF-12v2 Physical Component Summary scores and Mental Component Summary scores.

Early introduction of an individualized exercise program and long-term telephone follow-up may reduce emergency health service utilization and improve quality of life of older adults at risk of hospital readmission.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009, 57(3), 395-402.

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