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Association of anemia with rehabilitation outcome for subacute geriatric rehabilitation patients in a secondary hospital in malaysia
Background: To evaluate the effects of anemia on rehabilitation outcomes for geriatric subjects in the Taiping Hospital subacute geriatric rehabilitation ward.
Methods: This was a retrospective study with 126 subjects that compared the change in the modified Barthel Index score of anemic and non-anemic subjects.
Results: In the study, 43.7% of subjects were anemic. Among anemic subjects, 45.5% were Malay, 38.2% were Chinese, 14.5% were Indian, and 1% were others. The median (Interquartile (IQR)) modified Barthel Index (MBI) on admission for anemic and non-anemic subjects was insignificantly different, at 47 (29, 63) and 36 (21, 59), respectively (P = 0.059). The median (IQR) of MBI improvement for non-anemic subjects was found to be significantly higher than for anemic subjects, which were 14 (5, 26) and 8 (1, 18; P = 0.021). Subjects with hemoglobin (hb) ≥ 9 g/dL were significantly associated with MBI improvement of more than 20, P = 0.009. Simple linear regression found that the P-values were not significant for albumin, creatinine, the Charlson comorbidity index, or the clinical frailty scale; hence, they were not significantly associated with rehabilitation outcome.
Conclusions: The study suggested that non-anemic subjects showed significant MBI improvement. Our study also suggested that judicious practices to target a hb threshold of 9 g/dL might be able to improve a subject’s functional outcome. These results should encourage further research with a larger elderly population to provide insights and awareness for the need to treat anemia in rehabilitation subjects.
Keywords: Geriatric, anemia, rehabilitation, modified barthel index