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 Home-Based Hip Rehab Shows Promise, Finnish Researchers Say

Finnish researchers say they’ve come up with a more intensive, more individualized method to help people recover from broken hips without leaving their homes. 
 
Convinced that “a one-year-based, individually tailored rehabilitation program may be the most promising strategy” to help seniors on the long road back to health after a hip break, lead researcher Anu Salpakoski writes that a method she calls Promotion Mobility, or ProMo, “improved mobility recovery after hip fracture over standard care.”
 
Salpakoski’s and her colleagues’ findings have big implications for long term and post-acute care, a profession that is already well used to the idea that the acuity of its wards is increasing, while modern medicine makes it easier to keep people out of skilled nursing and rehab centers. The study was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.
 
David Norsworthy, a veteran long term and post-acute care provider from Arkansas, says “it’s encouraging” to see how well home-based treatments are progressing. But he adds that he and his colleagues are making similar progress in caring for the increasingly complex cases that are moving through their centers.
 
“Across the care spectrum,” he says, “we’re seeing more patients with increasingly complex needs—both rehab-related and also in their overall health. I’m excited about how the market has adapted and changed to meet the ever-changing needs of patients. Our future is bright in that capacity.”
 
Salpakoski and her colleagues say that ProMo shows promise in part because it’s so highly individualized. The program begins within a week of taking baseline mobility measurements and included up to six home visits by physical therapists. 
 
As Salpakoski describes it: “The individual progressive home exercise program, comprising strengthening and stretching exercises for the lower limb muscles, balance training, and functional exercises, was implemented during the second home visit.
 
“The program was updated four to five times with a more demanding protocol,” Salpakoski says. “The functional exercises included walking, reaching, turning in different directions, and stair climbing.”
 
Everyone in the program kept a rehab diary, Salpakoski says. She and her colleagues are hoping that their work will help the profession “focus on restoring and supporting the functional independence of persons who may already have disabilities.”

Bill Myers is Provider’s senior editor. E-mail him at wmyers@providermagazine.com. Follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers.

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