Aim: To examine the effects of a simplified reablement program on physical function and quality of life in hospitalized older patients. Methods: The randomized controlled trial enrolled 114 older patients aged ≥65 years who, 2 weeks before admission, had been able to walk independently. Patients randomized to the reablement group received supervision and assistance to carry out the simplified reablement program 30 min daily during their hospital stay. Patients in the reminding group received only oral encouragement to continue the reablement program for 30 min daily. The control group received only usual care that included medical intervention consistent with the patient's diagnosis. The main outcome was improvement in physical function, including the modified version of the Katz Activities of Daily Living (ADL) score, Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and Hand Grip Strength (HGS). Secondary outcomes included the EuroQoL 5 Dimension (EQ-5D) Questionnaire and Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Results: The intervention had no significant effect on the Katz ADL score. However, a significant within-group improvement in TUG occurred in the reminding group and reablement group. In addition, a significant time-dependent improvement in HGS occurred only in the reablement group. With respect to secondary outcomes, the EQ5D score improved significantly only in the reablement group at 3 months after discharge. Conclusions: The simplified reablement program may be beneficial to optimize physical function and improve quality of life in hospitalized older patients. It is recommended that health professionals should assist or encourage older patients to do simplified reablement during their hospital stay. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 436–442.
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