The relationship between duration of physical therapy services in the acute care setting and change in functional status in patients with lower- extremity orthopedic problems

Kathryn Roach, Deanna Ally, Brian Finnerty, Dennis Watkins, Bini A. Litwin, Brenda Janz-Hoover, Tracilyn Watson, Kathleen A. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Purpose. This study examined the relationship between the duration of physical therapy and functional status at discharge. Subjects. The subjects were 173 inpatients, with a mean age of 67.9 years (SD=20.5, range:18-101), referred to physical therapy with lower-extremity orthopedic problems. Methods. For this retrospective cohort study, medical and physical therapy quality assurance records were used. Functional status, at initiation of and discharge from physical therapy, was measured using the Acute Care Index of Function (ACIF). The ACIF scores, which ranged from 0 to 100, were obtained from quality assurance records. The duration of physical therapy was the number of minutes of physical therapy billed to each patient, as determined from billing records. Results. Subjects received an average of 238.5 minutes of physical therapy (SD = 153.6, range = 15-1,110). Function improved an average of 15.4 points (SD = 17.0, range=-27.4 to 64.9), and the duration of physical therapy was an important predictor of functional status at discharge after controlling for age, length of hospitalization, number of diagnoses, and initial functional status. Conclusion and Discussion. This study provides evidence that the amount of physical therapy that patients with some types of orthopedic problems receive is directly related to the functional improvement that occurs during hospitalization in an acute care setting. [Roach KE. Ally D. Finnerty B, et al. The relationship between duration of physical therapy services in the acute care setting and change in functional status in patients with lower-extremity orthopedic problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Therapy
Volume78
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Functional status
  • General
  • Lower extremity
  • Orthopedics
  • Treatment outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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