The Influence of Prior Functional Status on Self-Care Improvement During a Skilled Nursing Facility Stay

Brian Downer, Ioannis Malagaris, Chih Ying Li, Mi Jung Lee, Rachel Deer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Older adults' prior health status can influence their recovery after a major illness. We investigated the association between older adults’ independence in self-care tasks prior to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay and their self-care function at SNF admission, discharge, and the change in self-care function during an SNF stay. Design: Retrospective study of 100% national CMS data files from October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019. Settings and Participants: The sample included 616,073 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who were discharged from an SNF between October 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019. Methods: The admission Minimum Data Set (MDS) was used to determine residents’ prior ability (independent, some help, dependent) to complete self-care tasks before the current illness, exacerbation, or injury. Seven self-care tasks from MDS Section GG were used to calculate total scores (range 7-42 points) for self-care at admission, discharge, and the change in self-care between admission and discharge. Results: Most residents (62.0%) were independent, 35.3% needed some help, and 2.64% were dependent in self-care prior to SNF admission. Nearly 25% of residents with urinary incontinence, 28.8% with bowel incontinence, and 31.7% with moderate-severe cognitive impairment were independent in self-care prior to SNF admission compared with approximately 70% of residents without these conditions. Compared with residents who were dependent in self-care prior to SNF admission, those who were independent or needed some help had significantly higher self-care total scores at admission (5.67 vs 4.21 points, respectively) and discharge (6.44 vs 3.82 points, respectively) and exhibited greater improvement in self-care (3.48 vs 1.62 points, respectively). Conclusions and Implications: Our findings are evidence that the new MDS item for a resident's independence in self-care tasks before SNF admission is a valid measure of their prior self-care function. This is clinically useful information and should be considered when developing rehabilitation goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1861-1867
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Post-acute care
  • activities of daily living
  • health services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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