Gait speed as a predictor of outcomes in post-acute transitional care for older people

Peel, Nancye M., Navanathan, Sukumar and Hubbard, Ruth E. (2014) Gait speed as a predictor of outcomes in post-acute transitional care for older people. Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 14 4: 906-910. doi:10.1111/ggi.12191

Author Peel, Nancye M.
Navanathan, Sukumar
Hubbard, Ruth E.
Title Gait speed as a predictor of outcomes in post-acute transitional care for older people
Journal name Geriatrics and Gerontology International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1444-1586
Publication date 2014-10
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ggi.12191
Open Access Status
Volume 14
Issue 4
Start page 906
End page 910
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aims: Gait speed has been advocated as a marker of vulnerability, but its discriminatory utility and predictive ability in frail older people in a post-acute community-based rehabilitation program has not been extensively investigated. The aims of this research were to examine whether there was a meaningful improvement in gait speed in post-acute care patients, and to determine whether gait speed predicted outcomes at 6-month follow up.

Methods: In a prospective cohort study, 351 older persons admitted to a transition care program were comprehensively assessed using the interRAI Home Care instrument. This included a timed 4-m walk at admission and discharge. A telephone interview 6 months after admission determined functional independence, living status and readmissions to hospital.

Results: Mean (SD) gait speed was 0.34m/s (0.21m/s) at admission and 0.54m/s (0.33m/s) at discharge. The improvement in gait speed over the program was significant (P<0.001), and represents a clinically meaningful change. At 6 months postadmission to transition care, a majority of patients (86.9%) were living in the community and 40.5% had at least one readmission to hospital. Higher gait speed at admission was associated with increased likelihood of living in the community (OR 1.34, P=0.015) and being functionally independent (OR 1.19 P=0.017) at follow up, as well as a reduced risk of hospital readmissions (OR 1.18, P=0.006).

Conclusions: Gait speed is an inexpensive, feasible and objective measure of physical performance in frail older people. It could be a useful tool in community-based transition care settings to predict outcomes.
Keyword Gait speed
Older people
Post acute care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine Publications
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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