Given the demographic changes, the need for effective geriatric intervention is obvious. Geriatric care aims to maintain the highest possible level of independence and quality of life and to reduce the risk of need for care.
This study investigated the benefits of geriatric care on functional performance, mobility and cognition.
Material and methods
This study involved a retrospective analysis of clinical data from 646 patients. At hospital admission and discharge functional status was assessed using the Barthel index. Mobility was evaluated by means of the Tinetti test and cognition by the mini-mental state examination (MMSE). A follow-up was conducted on 112 patients 2–5 months after hospital discharge. Statistical analysis included t-tests including Cohen's d for effect size and multivariate regression analysis.
The mean age of the study population was 81.1 ± 7.1 years including 439 women (68 %) and 207 men (32 %). There were significant average improvements for activities of daily living (ADL), mobility and cognition comparing discharge and admission scores. For functional and mobility status, effect sizes were medium to high. Regression analyses showed that ADL improvement was predicted by functional, mobile and cognitive status at admission. Follow-up analyses revealed a high percentage of former patients still living at home and an overall maintenance of ADL levels.
Geriatric patients seem to experience long-term improvements during geriatric treatment, which appears to fulfill its aim of recovering independence. For a better understanding of relevant factors for the recreation of geriatric patients, further research is needed, e.g. with respect to the impact of the nutritional status.