(HealthDay News) — For older patients, a home-based exercise program is beneficial after formal hip fracture rehabilitation has ended, according to a study published in the February 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Nancy K. Latham, PhD, PT, from Boston University, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial in the homes of 195 functionally-limited older adults who had completed traditional rehabilitation after a hip fracture. Participants were randomized to an intervention (100 participants), which included receiving functionally oriented exercises taught by a physical therapist and performed independently for six months, or an attention control group (95 participants). The control group received in-home and telephone-based cardiovascular nutrition education. Participants underwent physical function assessments at baseline, six months (at completion of the intervention), and at nine months.

The researchers found that, relative to the control group, the intervention group showed significant improvement in functional mobility (mean Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB] score: between group difference, 0.8; P<0.001; mean Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care [AM-PAC] mobility score: between-group difference, 1.3; P=0.03; and mean AM-PAC daily activity score: between-group difference, 3.5; P=0.03). The between-group differences remained significant for SPPB and AM-PAC daily activity, but not for mobility, in multiple imputation analyses. For all functional measures, significant between-group differences persisted at nine months.

“Among patients who had completed standard rehabilitation after hip fracture, the use of a home-based functionally oriented exercise program resulted in modest improvement in physical function at six months after randomization,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Metrowest Homecare and Hospice; a second author disclosed ties to CREcare, which distributes outcome instruments, including AM-PAC. Thera-Band donated their products.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)