Short-term effectiveness of inpatient cancer rehabilitation: A longitudinal controlled cohort study
The purpose was twofold: (1) to develop a comprehensive profile of patients discharged from an inpatient oncology rehabilitation unit and (2) to explore the relationships between patient characteristics and functional status. A retrospective review of electronic data from all patients discharged from oncology rehabilitation between November 1, 2008, and March 31, 2010, was conducted. Data elements included age, sex, primary language, living arrangements, cancer diagnosis, comorbidities, and admission and discharge Functional Independence Measure (FIM™) scores. Descriptive statistics were compiled for all data elements. General linear regression was conducted to determine the descriptors independently associated with FIM™ discharge and FIM™ change scores. There were 153 eligible records. The patients’ age ranged from 38 to 97 years (M = 72.6, SD = 12.9); 59.5% were women, and 39.3% lived alone prior to hospitalization. The most common diagnoses were colorectal cancer (n = 45, 28.8%), metastatic disease (n = 24, 15.7%), and cancer of the urinary organs (n = 14, 9.2%). Service goals were met for 77.1%. Patients improved an average of 17.1 (SD = 8.8) points on the FIM™. Being older and having a diagnosis of brain or uterine cancer were associated with lower FIM™ change scores. In this sample, the majority of patients were older women, and many lived alone. While the group as a whole made significant functional gains, those who were younger improved more. Having a diagnosis of uterine or brain cancer was associated with lower functional change scores. This study was limited by a small sample size and the retrospective design; however, the results provide a foundation for future prospective research.