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Scientific publication

Memory acute"-treatment concept for inpatient remobilization of acutely ill patients with dementia

Publication from Health
Kompetenzgruppe Datenmanagement und Biostatistik

Gerald Pichler, Nicole Fink, Lisa Weidinger, Louise Schmidt, Thomas Augustin, Walter Schippinger

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie + Geriatrie , 11/2019



Acute hospitals are generally not designed for people with dementia. Behavioral issues pose the greatest challenge. This article reports on the results of a prospective controlled study designed to assess whether dementia patients benefit from a remobilization strategy in a memory clinic (IG-MA) following hospital discharge.


Between January and September 2018 patients with moderate to severe dementia discharged from hospital following acute episodes were admitted to an IG-MA for remobilization. The IG-MA unit provides specially qualified personnel and an adapted environment. Control groups were formed from the standard remobilization unit (KG1-AGR) and four care homes (KG2-PWH).


Patients in the IG-MA (n = 22) had a worse functional status at admission according to the Barthel index (BI), the timed "up and go" test (TUG) and the Esslinger transfer scale (ETS) than patients in the KG1-AGR (n = 59). Outcomes significantly improved in both groups (IG-MA and KG1-AGR) without a clear difference between groups: IG-MA (BI from 35 to 57.8 points, TUG from 30.8 s to 23 s, ETS from 2.1 to 1.1 points) vs. KG1-AGR (BI from 44.7 to 62.4 points, TUG from 28.6 s to 20.2 s, ETS from 1.7 to 0.9 points). There were differences in cognitive ability at admission (mini mental state examination, MMSE: IG-MA 13.6 points vs. KG1-AGR 20 points). The length of stay in the IG-MA was on average 5 days longer. Early discharge was mostly the result of complications and transfer to acute hospitals in the IG-MA group (22.7%) and in the KG1-AGR group this was mostly due to care issues (27.1%). The KG2-PWH group did not show any significant functional improvements in the first 4 weeks as measured by the BI.


Moderate to severely affected dementia patients with behavioral problems benefited from treatment in a specially designed remobilization unit following hospital discharge after an acute event.

Keywords: Behavioral symptoms; Dementia; Geriatric assessment; Rehabilitation

Url: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31701238