Patterns of physical activity over time in older patients rehabilitating after hip fracture surgery: a preliminary observational study

Dieuwke van Dartel*, Ying Wang, Johannes H. Hegeman, Marloes Vermeer, Miriam M.R. Vollenbroek-Hutten, on behalf of the Up&Go after a hip fracture group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: To investigate patterns of continuously monitored physical activity in older patients rehabilitating after hip fracture surgery and the association with patient characteristics. Methods: Physical activity of surgically treated hip fracture patients aged 70 years or older, who were rehabilitating at a skilled nursing home, was continuously monitored using a tri-axial accelerometer. The intensity of physical activity per day was calculated from the accelerometer signals to describe the daily physical activity levels of the enrolled patients. The patterns of three different aspects of physical activity were investigated: overall physical activity, overall variability, and day-to-day variability. Two experts in the geriatric rehabilitation field helped identifying unique physical activity patterns for each aspect based on visual analysis. Eighteen healthcare professionals independently classified each patient in one of the predefined patterns for each aspect. Differences between physical activity patterns and patient characteristics were assessed using a Kruskal–Wallis or Fisher’s Exact Test. Results: Physical activity data from 66 older patients were used in this preliminary study. A total of six unique patterns were identified for overall physical activity and overall variability, and five unique patterns for the day-to-day variability. The most common pattern found for the overall physical activity and day-to-day variability had a S-shape, which first slowly increased, then steeply increased, and subsequently flattened (n = 23, 34.8%). A N-shape pattern was found the most common pattern for overall variability, which first slowly increased, then steeply increased, then decreased and lastly increased (n = 14, 21.2%). The functionality at admission to rehabilitation, measured with the Barthel Index, and the duration of rehabilitation stay differed between the patterns of physical activity. Conclusions: Multiple patterns of physical activity among older patients during hip fracture rehabilitation were found in this preliminary study. The functionality at admission to rehabilitation and the duration of rehabilitation stay were associated with the different patterns found in this study. Results of this study highlight the importance of personalized hip fracture treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number373
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Continuous monitoring
  • Hip fracture rehabilitation
  • Older patients
  • Patterns
  • Physical activity

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