My elderly mother fell down just one step and broke her hip. She's had surgery and she's in a skilled nursing facility with hopes of returning home. What are her chances of actually regaining enough function to take care of herself? She does live alone.
Here are a few facts to consider. A quarter of a million people in the United States will fracture their hips this year. One-fourth of those adults die within the first 12 months after that fracture. And only half of those who survive will be able to return home and resume a normal life. Those are very sobering statistics.
Studies show that if this happens to you or to a loved one, motivation level can be a key factor in success. Patients who are highly motivated to participate in their rehab program are more likely to have a positive outcome and successful rehab. But how can we measure motivation? And what can we do to increase motivational levels to ensure better results?
Physical and occupational therapists are looking for ways to answer these questions. Now that patients go home so much faster after hospitalization, it's even more important than ever that therapists quickly determine what level of participation they can expect from each patient. And it's equally important that patients fully participate in their own recovery process whenever possible.
In a study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, patient activity levels, participation/motivation, and function were measured in patients who had a hip fracture without complications. Patient with higher activity counts also had excellent participation scores. The more active patients were, the better their function, too. And these results were consistent when reviewed at the end of three and six months.
Therapists are interested in helping patients post-fracture avoid a decline in function, speed up recovery of function, and foster physical activity to improve function. Looking at activity levels and how these match up to final outcomes is useful information.
Finding ways to encourage patients to increase their activity and participation levels is a key focus of the rehab program. Most of this has to come from within the patient but the staff's attitude and the family's encouragement can go a long way in getting older adults to progress past the need for skilled nursing or assisted living and get home once again.
Jaime B. Talkowski, PhD, MPT, et al. Patient Participation and Physical Activity During Rehabilitation and Future Functional Outcomes in Patients After Hip Fracture. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. April 2009. Vol. 90. No. 4. Pp. 618-622.
*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.