• rehabilitation;
  • functional outcomes;
  • cognitive impairment;
  • aged

The purpose of the study was to examine functional outcomes of a nurse-managed, community-based Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) for frail older adults and to compare the outcomes between two groups: older adults with cognitive impairment and those with intact cognition. A retrospective cohort design using healthcare record abstraction was used for the study. Two hundred and one older adults who were admitted to the CORF from the end of 1997 to early 1999 were included in the study. Data were abstracted from healthcare records, including clinician-generated Mini-Mental State Examination, Geriatric Depression Scale, and Functional Independence Measure scores from the healthcare records and investigator-constructed measures of functional gain, rehabilitation efficiency, days of service, and discharge location. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to compare rehabilitation outcomes between the two groups. Regardless of cognitive status, all subjects improved significantly in their levels of functional dependence through participating in this outpatient rehabilitation program (P<.001). Subjects with cognitive impairment exhibited more functional dependence at baseline and discharge than did their cognitively intact counterparts. Nevertheless, there was no difference between the two groups in functional gain (P=.63), rehabilitation efficiency (P=.66), days of service (P=.83), or discharge location (P=.69). Therefore, despite their greater degree of functional dependence on admission, older adults with cognitive impairment benefited from this CORF without requiring more days of service and should thus be referred for rehabilitation services.