Daniel Grier, BA, MS*1;Julie Carpenter, RN2;Elizabeth Eckels, DPT2;Sara Howe, OTR/L2;James D Harrison, MPH, PhD2 and Stephanie Rogers, MD2, (1)Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, (2)University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2017, May 1-4, 2017; Las Vegas, Nev.

Abstract number: 46

Categories: Geriatrics, Innovations Abstracts

Keywords: , ,

Background: Many hospitals do not have the means to supervise daily physical therapy (PT) for elderly inpatients. PT delivered in a group setting has the potential to allow hospitals to consolidate resources and extend PT services to more elderly patients within the hospital. However, little to no efforts have been made in implementing the delivery of group physical therapy (GPT) to elderly inpatients. 

Purpose: To pilot a GPT program at an Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) hospital unit and to better understand older inpatients’ perceptions of GPT. 

Description: For eight weeks, eligible ACE patients were identified for GPT. Eligibility criteria included ≥60 years, ability to stand and pivot to chair with one person assistance, prior experience with individual PT, and no cognitive impairment. 14 patients participated in GPT twice a week (2-5 patients per session). Patients were on average 81 years old (range 64-97 years). A nurse, physical therapist, and occupational therapist led the hour-long GPT session in the ACE unit activity room. To motivate patients and encourage participation, therapists played requested music during the GPT session to foster an inviting environment. During the sessions, both endurance and strength training exercises were performed. Art therapy was also offered during the last fifteen minutes, allowing participants the opportunity to socialize with other patients. 

Feedback was obtained from the patients and one caregiver (on behalf of the patient) after they had participated in the GPT using individual structured interviews. Of the 14 interviewed participants, 80% agreed that they enjoyed GPT, 87% agreed that they were satisfied with their GPT experience, and 93% agreed that they would attend GPT again in the future. When participants were asked if they preferred individual PT over GPT, only 13% agreed to the statement, 67% stated they were neutral, and the remaining 20% stated they disagreed (Figure 1). Responses to open-ended questions about GPT experiences identified three major themes: 1) Participants enjoyed exercising with their peers; 2) Participants valued the physical and social benefits of GPT; 3) Participants considered the amount of personal attention the major difference between GPT and individual PT (Table 1).

Conclusions: This program provides quantitative and qualitative evidence to support GPT for hospitalized elderly adults. As GPT was well received among hospitalized patients who participated in the pilot program, hospitals could consider implementing GPT programs to expand PT services.

To cite this abstract:

Grier, D; Carpenter, J; Eckels, E; Howe, S; Harrison, JD; Rogers, S . ACE-ERCISE: PATIENT AND CAREGIVER PERSPECTIVES ON GROUP PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR HOSPITALIZED ELDERS. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2017, May 1-4, 2017; Las Vegas, Nev. Abstract 46. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2017; 12 (suppl 2). Accessed July 21, 2019.

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