Aspiration pneumonia (AP) is a common but potentially serious disease that frequently affects elderly patients. Elderly patients with AP often develop posthospital syndrome and hospitalization-associated disability; AP is frequently fatal in such patients.Early rehabilitation administered by physical therapists potentially prevents hospitalization-associated disability for elderly inpatients. Generally, rehabilitation for elderly inpatients includes encouraging early ambulation, strength exercise, and endurance training. These exercises are designed to enhance self-care ability and prevent a decline in physical performance. The purpose of the present retrospective observational study was to examine the effects of early rehabilitation by physical therapists on 30-day in-hospital mortality among elderly patients with AP, using a national inpatient database in Japan.
Study was started within 3 days of admission and undertaken for at least 7 days. The control group was defined as those without rehabilitation by physical therapists. The control group stayed in the hospital for 26.2 days on average. The average length of stay was significantly greater for patients who underwent early rehabilitation than for patients who did not undergo rehabilitation.