Modification in self-rated health in patients discharged by a geriatric rehabilitation ward


Self-rated health is a valuable outcome in geriatric rehabilitation besides objective results. The present work aims at measuring and analyzing overall health as it is perceived at admission into and at discharge from a geriatric rehabilitation ward. Overall health was self-appraised through a visual-analogue scale (VAS), spanning from 0 (worst) to 10 (best). We studied 1997 patients (70% females), aged 79 (standard deviation, s.d. 8.7) years; most were frail, either functionally, clinically and cognitively. 80% of patients were discharged to home after a length of stay lasting 47.5 (s.d. 22.7) days. At admission, 3/5 patients appraised favorably their overall health (VAS ≥ 6/10): at discharge, the proportion rose to 3/4, with a mean (s.d.) gain = 2 (2) points. The improvement in self-perceived health score positively correlates with the grade expressing clients’ overall satisfaction for the stay (p 0.001), and with discharge versus admission differences in: Barthel Index (BI) total score (p < 0.001), Tinetti total score, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Geriatric Depression Scale (5 items GDS), pain (VAS 0 to 10). A Linear regression model predicting the changes in self-perceived health included changes in BI, MMSE, GDS, pain, dropping Tinetti test. Changes in self-rated health were positively correlated to functional gain adjusted for pre-morbid level, and to relative functional gain. By analysis of variance, health self-appraisal changed more favorably in patients discharged to home than for other social outcomes (all p < 0.001). As expected, trends in self-perceived health parallel improvements in objective functional gauges and subjective indicators.

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Marelli, E. , Procino, G. , Cottino, M. , Previderè, G. , Giorgi, S. , Dell’Acqua, D. , Bruno, S. , Cairati, M. , Ferrari, D. , Capuano, R. and Colombo, M. (2013) Modification in self-rated health in patients discharged by a geriatric rehabilitation ward. Health, 5, 94-98. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.56A2014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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