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Keywords:

  • Functional mobility;
  • quality of life;
  • elderly;
  • rehabilitation

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term functional status and quality of life of older individuals with functional mobility impairment.

Design

A prospective longitudinal study was conducted.

Methods

The study sample consisted of elderly patients who had been admitted to a rehabilitation facility in Hamburg, Germany. Data were collected from February 2008 to August 2009 in the rehabilitation center and the living environment of the participants after discharge. Quality of life was assessed using the WHO Quality of Life-BREF; activities of daily living were measured using the Barthel-Index (BI).

Findings

Functional status and overall quality of life increased from admission (BI = 73.33) to 6 months postadmission (BI = 89.29) but decreased at 12 months postadmission (BI = 85.71). Quality of life significantly increased in the psychological domain from admission (57.85) to 6 months follow-up (67.85) (p = .010). Men showed a better functional status over time (p = .010) than women. Higher quality of life scores were associated with higher MMSE (p = .031) and self-efficacy scores (p = .019) at admission.

Conclusion

The findings of this study suggest a need for interventions to improve functional status and quality of life in this population, especially following 6 months after discharge.

Clinical Relevance

Special interventions should address physical quality of life and physical functioning. Gender differences should be considered in planning and implementing programs.