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05.07.2018 | Ausgabe 9/2018

The journal of nutrition, health & aging 9/2018

Frailty Related Factors as Predictors of Functional Recovery in Geriatric Rehabilitation: The Sarcopenia and Function in Aging Rehabilitation (SAFARI) Multi-Centric Study

The journal of nutrition, health & aging > Ausgabe 9/2018
Alicia Calle, G. Onder, A. Morandi, G. Bellelli, E. Ortolani, L. M. Pérez, M. Mesas, A. Sanniti, P. Mazzanti, C. N. Platto, S. Gentile, N. Martínez, M. Roquè, M. Inzitari



Frailty-related characteristics, such as sarcopenia, malnutrition and cognitive impairment, are often overlooked, both in clinical practice and research, as potential contributors to functional recovery during geriatric rehabilitation.


The aim of the study was to identify frailty-related characteristics associated with functional recovery in a cohort of post-orthopedic surgery and post-stroke older adults.


Multi-centric cohort study.

Participanst and Settings

Patients over 65 years, admitted to three geriatric rehabilitation units, in Spain and Italy, after an orthopedic event or a stroke, from December 2014 to May 2016.


The Absolute Functional Gain (AFG) defined as the difference between Barthel Index score at discharge and at admission, and the Relative Functional Gain (RFG) that represents the percentage of recovery of the function lost due to the event, were selected as outcomes. Both outcomes were analyzed as continuous and dichotomous variables. Analyses were also stratified as diagnostic at admission.


We enrolled 459 patients (mean age±SD=80.75±8.21 years), 66.2% women, 69.5% with orthopedic conditions and with a length of stay of 28.8±9.1 days. Admission after a stroke (Odds Ratio=0.36, 95% Confidence Interval=0.22-0.59]) and a better functional status at admission (OR=0.96, 95% CI=0.94-0.97), were associated with a lower likelihood of AFG, while a better pre-event Barthel index (OR=1.03 for each point in score, 95% CI=1.01-1.04), being able to walk (OR=2.07, 95% CI=1.16-3.70), and a better cognitive status at admission (OR=1.05, 95% CI=1.01-1.09), were associated with a higher chance of AFG. Post-stroke patients with delirium at admission had a re-duced chance of AFG (OR=0.25, 95% CI=0.07-0.91]). Patients admitted after an orthopedic event with better pre-event functional status (OR=1.04, 95% CI=1.02-1.06) and able to walk at admission (OR=2.79, 95% CI=1.29-6.03]) had an increased chance of AFG. Additionally, in both diagnostics groups, a better handgrip strength increased the chance of RFG.


Among frailty-related variables, physical, cognitive and muscular function at admission could be relevant for functional improvement during geriatric reha-bilitation. If confirmed, this data might orient targeted interventions.

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