Dr. Steve R. Fisher, a University of Texas Medical Branch assistant professor who is lead author of a paper that was published recently in Journals of Gerontology regarding a new study on the activity levels of elderly people following hospital stays, visited with Guidry News Service.
Fisher said the study found a link between the activity levels of elderly people who have just been released from the hospital and the risk that they will require readmission within 30 days.
“My research focuses on the functional consequences of acute hospitalization and how activity during and after an acute hospital stay relates to patient outcomes,” Dr. Fisher said. “For this study we looked at how walking during hospitalization and during that first week after discharge home relates to 30-day readmission.”
Dr. Fisher said patients at the Acute Care for Elders Unit at John Sealy Hospital were asked to wear accelerometers, or “step activity monitors” during their stays and for up to one week after discharge.
“Then we followed up 30 days later to see who was and was not readmitted,” he said. “When we looked at this walking data in relation to readmission status, it showed that patients who were readmitted walked about half as much, both in the hospital and home that first week, compared to patients who were not readmitted.”
Thus, Dr. Fisher said that the amount of post-discharge walking is a better predictor of 30-day readmission than traditional measures.
“Our goal is to ultimately identify a threshold of walking above or below which a person’s risk of readmission changes,” Dr. Fisher concluded.
For the UTMB news release on Dr. Fisher’s study Click Here