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Function-Focused Care and Changes in Physical Function in Chinese American and Non-Chinese American Hospitalized Older Adults



Function-focused care (FFC) is a rehabilitative philosophy of care with which nurses help patients engage in activities of daily living and physical activity with the goal of preventing avoidable functional decline. This prospective, observational study described the degree of FFC provided by nursing staff to Chinese American (n= 32) and non-Chinese American (n = 43) older adults in medical-surgical units of an urban hospital. In both groups, only a few ADLs were a focus of FFC. Loss of physical function occurred, and physical function did not return to baseline by discharge in both groups; however, FFC was associated with less decline. Results suggest that hospitalized elders, both Chinese American and non-Chinese American, can benefit from nurse-led FFC. FFC may help minimize functional decline and decrease the use of postacute care rehabilitation. The gerontological rehabilitation nurse can play an essential role, guiding a function-focused approach throughout the hospital stay, including with the transitional care plan.