Feasibility and efficacy of function-focused care for orthopedic trauma patients

Barbara Resnick, Chris Wells, Elizabeth Galik, Lauren Holtzman, Shijun Zhu, Elise Gamertsfelder, Terry Laidlow, Marie Boltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


To overcome challenges associated with optimizing function and physical activity among hospitalized older adults, we developed function-focused care for acute care (FFCAC). The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of this intervention. We hypothesized that hospitalized trauma patients exposed to FFC-AC would (1) maintain or improve function, spend more time in physical activity, and have fewer adverse events between admission and discharge; and (2) maintain or improve function, have less fear of falling, fewer depressive symptoms, less pain, be more physically resilient, and be less likely to experience adverse events at 1 month postdischarge compared with those exposed to FFC-education only (EO). FFC-AC was implemented by a research function-focused care nurse who worked on the participating units for 20 hr a week for 16 months to implement the three components of FFC-AC. The sample included 89 older orthopedic trauma patients the majority of whom were female ( N = 59, 66%), white ( N = 82, 92%), and not married ( N = 53, 59%). At discharge and/or 30 days postdischarge, participants in the treatment site showed greater improvement in function, less fear of falling, and better physical resilience when compared with those in the FFC-EO site. Future research is needed to continue to work on engaging staff in function-focused care approaches and optimizing the hospital environment and policies to support nurses in this type of care approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-155
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Trauma Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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