Testing a family-centered intervention to promote functional and cognitive recovery in hospitalized older adults

Marie Boltz, Barbara Resnick, Tracy Chippendale, James Galvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


A comparative trial using a repeated-measures design was designed to evaluate the feasibility and outcomes of the Family-Centered Function-Focused-Care (Fam-FFC) intervention, which is intended to promote functional recovery in hospitalized older adults. A family-centered resource nurse and a facility champion implemented a three-component intervention (environmental assessment and modification, staff education, individual and family education and partnership in care planning with follow-up after hospitalization for an acute illness). Control units were exposed to function-focused-care education only. Ninety-seven dyads of medical patients aged 65 and older and family caregivers (FCGs) were recruited from three medical units of a community teaching hospital. Fifty-three percent of patients were female, 89% were white, 51% were married, and 40% were widowed, and they had a mean age of 80.8 ± 7.5. Seventy-eight percent of FCGs were married, 34% were daughters, 31% were female spouses or partners, and 38% were aged 46 to 65. Patient outcomes included functional outcomes (activities of daily living (ADLs), walking performance, gait, balance) and delirium severity and duration. FCG outcomes included preparedness for caregiving, anxiety, depression, role strain, and mutuality. The intervention group demonstrated less severity and shorter duration of delirium and better ADL and walking performance but not better gait and balance performance than the control group. FCGs who participated in Fam-FFC showed a significant increase in preparedness for caregiving and a decrease in anxiety and depression from admission to 2 months after discharge but no significant differences in strain or quality of the relationship with the care recipient from FCGs in the control group. Fam-FFC is feasible and has the potential to improve outcomes for hospitalized older adults and their caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2398-2407
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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