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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 810418, 9 pages
Research Article

Patients Undergoing Subacute Physical Rehabilitation following an Acute Hospital Admission Demonstrated Improvement in Cognitive Functional Task Independence

1Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Metro South Health, Buranda, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia
2Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia
3The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia
4School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
5Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia
6The Prince Charles Hospital, Metro North Health, Brisbane, QLD 4032, Australia

Received 21 July 2014; Accepted 11 November 2014; Published 30 November 2014

Academic Editor: Graziano Onder

Copyright © 2014 Steven M. McPhail et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. This study investigated cognitive functioning among older adults with physical debility not attributable to an acute injury or neurological condition who were receiving subacute inpatient physical rehabilitation. Design. A cohort investigation with assessments at admission and discharge. Setting. Three geriatric rehabilitation hospital wards. Participants. Consecutive rehabilitation admissions () following acute hospitalization (study criteria excluded orthopaedic, neurological, or amputation admissions). Intervention. Usual rehabilitation care. Measurements. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM) Cognitive and Motor items. Results. A total of 704 (86.5%) participants (mean age = 76.5 years) completed both assessments. Significant improvement in FIM Cognitive items (-score range 3.93–8.74, all ) and FIM Cognitive total score (-score = 9.12, ) occurred, in addition to improvement in FIM Motor performance. A moderate positive correlation existed between change in Motor and Cognitive scores (Spearman’s rho = 0.41). Generalized linear modelling indicated that better cognition at admission (coefficient = 0.398, ) and younger age (coefficient = −0.280, ) were predictive of improvement in Motor performance. Younger age (coefficient = −0.049, ) was predictive of improvement in FIM Cognitive score. Conclusions. Improvement in cognitive functioning was observed in addition to motor function improvement among this population. Causal links cannot be drawn without further research.