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