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Challenging rehabilitation environment for older patients

Authors Tijsen LMJ, Derksen EWC, Achterberg WP, Buijck BI

Received 7 March 2019

Accepted for publication 7 July 2019

Published 12 August 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1451—1460

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S207863

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Lian MJ Tijsen,1–3 Els WC Derksen,4 Wilco P Achterberg,1 Bianca I Buijck2,3

1Department Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; 2Oktober, Bladel, The Netherlands; 3De Zorgboog, Bakel, The Netherlands; 4Department Primary and Community Care, Center for Family Medicine, Geriatric Care and Public Health, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Introduction: After hospitalization, 11% of the older patients are referred to rehabilitation facilities. Nowadays, there is a trend to formalize the rehabilitation process for these patients in a Challenging Rehabilitation Environment (CRE). This concept involves the comprehensive organization of care, support and the environment on a rehabilitation ward. However, since literature on the principles of CRE is scarce, this review aimed to explore and describe the principles of CRE.
Methods: A search was made in PubMed for relevant literature concerning CRE. Then, articles were hand searched for relevant keywords (ie, task-oriented training, therapy intensity, patient-led therapy, group training), references were identified, and topics categorized.
Results: After evaluating 51 articles, 7 main topics of CRE were identified: 1) Therapy time; ie, the level of (physical) activity; the intensity of therapy and activity is related to rehabilitation outcomes, 2) group training; used to increase practice time and can be used to achieve multiple goals (eg, activities of daily living, mobility), 3) patient-regulated exercise; increases the level of self-management and practice time, 4) family participation; may lead to increased practice time and have a positive effect on rehabilitation outcomes, 5) task-oriented training; in addition to therapy, nurses can stimulate rehabilitants to perform meaningful tasks that improve functional outcomes, 6) enriched environment; this challenges rehabilitants to be active in social and physical activities, and 7) team dynamics; shared goals during rehabilitation and good communication in a transdisciplinary team improve the quality of rehabilitation.
Discussion: This is the first description of CRE based on literature; however, the included studies discussed rehabilitation mainly after stroke and for few other diagnostic groups.
Conclusion: Seven main topics related to CRE were identified that may help patients to improve their rehabilitation outcomes. Further research on the concept and effectivity of CRE is necessary.

Keywords: geriatric rehabilitation, postacute care, care process, aging

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