Background: The hospitalized elderly are at risk of functional decline. We evaluated the effects and care costs of a specialized geriatric rehabilitation program aimed at preventing functional decline among at-risk hospitalized elderly. Methods: The prospective nonrandomized controlled trial reported here was performed in three hospitals in the Netherlands. One hospital implemented the Prevention and Reactivation Care Program (PReCaP), while two other hospitals providing usual care served as control settings. Within the PReCaP hospital we compared patients pre-implementation with patients post-implementation of the PReCaP (“within-hospital analysis”), while our nonrandomized controlled trial compared patients of the PReCaP hospital post-implementation with patients from the two control hospitals providing usual care (“between-hospital analysis”). Hospitalized patients 65 years or older and at risk of functional decline were interviewed at baseline and at 3 and 12 months using validated questionnaires to score functioning, depression, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We estimated costs per unit of care from hospital information systems and national data sources. We used adjusted general linear mixed models to analyze functioning and HRQoL. Results: Between-hospital analysis showed no difference in activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) between PReCaP patients and control groups. PReCaP patients did have slightly better cognitive functioning (Mini Mental State Examination; 0.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.2–0.6]), lower depression (Geriatric Depression Scale 15; -0.9 [95% -1.1 to -0.6]) and higher perceived health (Short-Form 20; 5.6 [95% CI 2.8–8.4]) than control patients. Analyses within the PReCaP hospital comparing patients pre- and post-implementation of the PReCaP showed no improvement over time in functioning, depression, and HRQoL. One-year health care costs were higher for PReCaP patients, both for the within-hospital analysis (+€7,000) and the between-hospital analysis (+€2,500). Conclusion: We did not find any effect of the PReCaP on ADL and IADL. The PReCaP may possibly provide some benefits to hospitalized patients at risk of functional decline with respect to cognitive functioning, depression, and perceived health. Further evaluations of integrated intervention programs to limit functional decline are therefore required.

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Clinical Interventions in Aging
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Asmus-Szepesi, K., Flinterman, L., Koopmanschap, M., Nieboer, A., Bakker, T., Mackenbach, J., & Steyerberg, E. (2015). Evaluation of the Prevention and Reactivation Care Program (PReCaP) for the hospitalized elderly: A prospective nonrandomized controlled trial. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10, 649–661. doi:10.2147/CIA.S77677