September 2011

Study links rate of 6MWT progress to function following hip fracture

In the moment: Gait

Among patients who sustain a hip fracture, those who can improve 6-meter-walking time by more than one second a day achieve greater functional independence than those who improve more slowly, according to research from the Beit Rivka Geriatric Rehabilitation Center in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Investigators retrospectively reviewed charts of 138 patients who had undergone rehabilitation after hip fracture, looking at 6MWT, rate of 6MWT improvement (RI), gait velocity (GV), Functional Independence Measure scores (FIM), FIM motor scores (mFIM), and length of stay.

The high RI group (≥1s/day) achieved significantly higher FIM scores (87.3±15.8 vs 79.9±17.4, p=0.013) and mFIM scores (60.7±12.4 vs 56.2±13.4, p=0.045) at discharge than the low RI performance group. The high RI group also had significantly higher FIM and mFIM scores at admission.

The authors, who published results in the August Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, noted that while most participants recovered enough to walk short distances at home, those who could bear weight on their injured leg with minimal assistance considerably improved mobility regardless of disability, cognitive level, or neurological history.

By Emily Delzell

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