Association between steps, functional decline in older hospitalized patients

Is walking fewer than 900 steps per day associated with functional decline in older hospitalized patients? A new research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine suggests it is.

Recent research has suggested 900 per day were normative for frail older adults and for older adults hospitalized in units. Maayan Agmon, Ph.D., and Anna Zisberg, Ph.D., of the University of Haifa, Israel, and coauthors examined whether that amount of steps differentiated those patients who do, or don't, experience hospitalization-associated functional decline.

The authors used patients within an ongoing study of a newly designed program that promotes in-hospital mobility. The study included 177 older patients hospitalized in internal medicine units at an academic medical center in Israel during the last three months of 2015. Total steps per day were calculated and the evaluation included cognitive, functional and mobility assessments.

Walking fewer than 900 steps per day was associated with hospitalization-associated functional decline, according to the results. Among the 41.8 percent of patients who walked less than 900 steps per day, 55.4 percent (57 patients) reported hospitalization-associated functional decline. Among the 58.2 percent of patients who walked 900 steps per day or more, only 18.4 percent (14 ) experienced hospitalization-associated functional decline.

Limitations of the study include its sample of a relatively high-functioning group of older adults from a single site.

"Nonetheless, this study adjusts for a broad range of intervening variables and relies on gold-standard, sensor-based data collection. Thus, it fills the gaps uncovered by previous studies and provides preliminary evidence to support the recommendation of 900 steps per day for HAFD [hospitalization-associated ] prevention. These findings should be confirmed by future studies involving diverse groups of ," the study concludes.


Explore further

In-hospital mobility program proves successful for patients' posthospital function

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online December 5, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7266
Journal information: JAMA Internal Medicine

Citation: Association between steps, functional decline in older hospitalized patients (2016, December 5) retrieved 20 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-12-association-functional-decline-older-hospitalized.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more