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At-Home Exercise After Formal Rehab for Hip Fracture Yields Modest Improvements in Physical Function — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 19, 2014

At-Home Exercise After Formal Rehab for Hip Fracture Yields Modest Improvements in Physical Function

By Amy Orciari Herman

A home-based exercise intervention improves some measures of physical function in adults who've completed a standard rehabilitation program for hip fracture, a JAMA study finds.

Some 200 older adults with limited function after finishing rehab were randomized to home exercises or a control group. The exercise group were taught functional tasks (such as climbing steps) during home visits by a physical therapist and then were instructed to perform them on their own three times weekly for 6 months. The control group received nutrition education.

At 6 months, physical function — as measured by standing balance, gait speed, and chair rise — showed clinically important improvements in the exercise versus control group.

Thomas Schwenk, a family medicine physician with NEJM Journal Watch, asks "whether some or even all of the usual structured outpatient rehabilitation could be moved to a less expensive but longer period of home rehabilitation."

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