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ABSTRACT: Background: In order to counter the rapidly developing loss of function especially in elderly patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD) the concept "early geriatric rehabilitation in acute inpatient pneumology" was developed. An essential aspect of the project was a targeted approach making use of multi-professional expertise and standards.Methods: This 1-year feasibility study included a total of 58 patients with AE-COPD in advanced age (mean: 74.8 +/- 6.8 years) with typical geriatric multimorbidity and necessity for acute medical as well as rehabilitation treatment. The results of the early geriatric rehabilitation by a multi-professional rehabilitation team were analyzed in a prospective study approach using standardized assessments. Results: The early geriatric rehabilitation started on median day 3 (range: 1st - 22nd) and lasted in median 16 days (range: 9 - 29). It achieved a significant improvement, particularly in mobility [timed up-and-go, median 19 (range: 10 - 150) vs. 15 (range: 7 - 120) seconds, p < 0.0001], self-help ability [Barthel index, median 73 (range: 5 - 95) vs. 95 (range: 45 - 100) points, p < 0.0001] and social care.Conclusions: Early geriatric rehabilitation in a cohort of AE-COPD patients is feasible and can be integrated in an acute inpatient pulmonary care system
Pneumologie 01/2012; 66(4):235-239.