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versión impresa ISSN 1134-928X


CRUZ LENDINEZ, Alfonso Jesús et al. Functional impairment in elderly inpatients in a hospital without geriatric units. Gerokomos [online]. 2010, vol.21, n.1, pp.8-16. ISSN 1134-928X.

Introduction: Increased population of elderly people is becoming more frequent admission to hospitals of people older than 65 years. Hospital stay in conventional units can lead to functional worsening in the elderly. Aim: To identify the profile of elderly patients treated in the Internal Medicine Hospital of Jaén. To analyze variation in functional ability of elderly people following admission to inpatient units of a public hospital. To identify variables that influence the changes in the functional ability of elderly inpatients in hospitals without geriatric units. Methods: Prospective observational study in 3 units of internal medicine units in a hospital belonging to the Andalusian Health Service. A sample of 190 hospitalized elderly patients has been included. Variables related to demographic, hospitalization and functional ability using Barthel Index, were reported. Results: Hospitalization in internal medicine units did not help to improve functional ability in older people; rather, they had a negative effect, promoting functional worsening in an important group of these patients. Depending on the age, among patients studied (65-85 and over), younger patients got better results on functional recovery at discharge, while those above 85 years got worst results. 16% under 85 years and 67.5% of those over 85 lose functional capacity. Conclusions: Most important factors affecting functional ability change during hospitalization were age, functional ability at admission, functional ability at discharge, the presence of companions during hospitalization and discharge destination. Hospitalization of elderly in a nongeriatric inpatient unit at hospital assumes no worse results in the functional capacity of patients compared with hospitals having geriatric inpatient unit.

Palabras clave : Elderly; hospitalization; impairment; functional capacity.

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