Older adults who entered skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for care after hospitalizations after the pandemic received rehabilitation care comparable to the levels of care that were provided pre-pandemic, according to research published in the JAMA Health Forum.
Despite exceptional challenges during the pandemic, SNFs provided post-acute rehabilitation with only a modest decline in intensity, said the researchers. This suggests that SNFs were largely able to adapt and provide post-acute care rehabilitation to older adults.
“During the pandemic we knew that fewer people went to skilled nursing facilities after hospitalizations, and it seemed like the ones that went were overall sicker, with more cognitive impairment and higher risk overall,” said Sandra M. Shi, MD, MPH. “This study helps to demonstrate that despite caring for a sicker population with scarce resources, SNFs were still largely able to provide post-acute rehabilitation for patients.”
“Our goal was to characterize changes in rehabilitation services provided by SNFs during COVID-19”, said Sarah Berry, MD, MPH. “Rehabilitation services overall decreased, but only by about a half day on average.”
The article, “Post-Acute Care Rehabilitation Services and Outcomes in Skilled Nursing Facilities Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic”, was published in the JAMA Health Forum and was authored by Sandra M. Shi, MD, MPH, Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife; Cyrus M. Kosar, PhD, Brown School of Public Health; Natalia Gouskovia, PhD, Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife; and Sarah Berry, MD, MPH, Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife.
About Hebrew SeniorLife
Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, was founded in 1903 and today is a national leader dedicated to empowering seniors to live their best lives. Hebrew SeniorLife cares for more than 3,000 seniors a day across six campuses throughout Greater Boston. Locations include: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center-Boston and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center-NewBridge in Dedham; NewBridge on the Charles, Dedham; Orchard Cove, Canton; Simon C. Fireman Community, Randolph; Center Communities of Brookline; and Jack Satter House, Revere. Hebrew SeniorLife also trains more than 1,000 future health care professionals each year, and conducts influential research into aging at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, which has a robust research portfolio whose NIH funding in 2021 places it in the top 10% of NIH-funded institutions. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit our website or follow us on our blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
About the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research
Scientists at the Marcus Institute seek to transform the human experience of aging by conducting research that will ensure a life of health, dignity, and productivity into advanced age. The Marcus Institute carries out rigorous studies that discover the mechanisms of age-related disease and disability; lead to the prevention, treatment, and cure of disease; advance the standard of care for older people; and inform public decision-making.
JAMA Health Forum
Subject of Research
Post-Acute Care Rehabilitation Services and Outcomes in Skilled Nursing Facilities Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Article Publication Date
Drs Shi and Kosar reported grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute on Aging (NIA) during the conduct of the study. Dr. Gouskova reported grants from NIH during the conduct of the study. No other disclosures were reported.