Hospital-associated functional decline and possible interventions based on physical activity, a review of the literature

Bethia Pacheco, Luis Carlos Venegas-Sanabria, Diego A. Chavarro-Carvajal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hospital functional impairment is defined as the loss of the ability to perform at least one of the basic activities of daily living with respect to the baseline situation of the person (2 weeks before the onset of acute illness). Its prevalence has been increasing due to the demographic transition of the last few years, which has caused aging to become a challenge with great impact on the health of people, their families and the health system. One of the main consequences of the increase in hospitalizations in the elderly is hospital functional impairment. This condition has multiple consequences in the short, medium and long term, which include increased hospital stay, increased costs of care, increased morbidity and mortality, among others. One of the stages of hospital functional impairment, which corresponds to the functional decline during hospitalization, is modifiable; hence the importance of identification and timely management to intervene at risk patients. Among the interventions that are proposed to deal with this condition are specialized geriatric care, comprehensive management with a multidisciplinary team, nutritional support and physical activity. The latter has been shown to have beneficial effects on physical, cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in the elderly; Therefore, it has been included in multiple hospital protocols as the main non-pharmacological intervention to reduce dependence and impact on functional hospital deterioration. The objective of this literature review is to describe the definition, epidemiology, risk factors, complications, factors associated with functional recovery and intervention programs described for the treatment. Additionally, describe the interventions that include physical activity in elderly patients hospitalized for acute pathologies and possible functional outcomes in this population.

Translated title of the contributionDeterioro funcional hospitalario y posibles intervenciones desde la actividad física, una revisión de la literatura
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-435
Number of pages6
JournalArchivos de Medicina del Deporte
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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