TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, readmission after elective surgery is associated with delays in functional recovery, according to a study published online Nov. 29 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Margaret A. Pisani, M.D., M.P.H., from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven. Conn., and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 566 community-dwelling older adults (mean age, 77 ± 5 years) undergoing major elective surgery. The authors assessed readmission over 18 months using multiple interviews with participants and family members.
The researchers found that 45 percent of participants experienced 503 readmissions. Readmission correlated with delays in functional recovery in all physical function measures. Having two or more readmissions during 18 months correlated with a persistent and significantly elevated risk of dependence in instrumental activities of daily living and activities of daily living (relative risks, 1.8 and 3.3, respectively). There was a progressive increase in the degree of functional impairment with the number of readmissions. Readmission within two months after surgery correlated with delayed functional recovery to baseline by 18 months; readmission between 12 and 18 months correlated with loss of previously achieved functional recovery.
"Readmission after elective surgery may contribute to delays in functional recovery and persistent functional deficits in older adults," the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to GE Healthcare.