Predictors of functional capacity changes in a US population of Medicare home health care (HHC) patients with heart failure (HF)

Elizabeth A. Madigan, Nahida Gordon, Richard H. Fortinsky, Siran M. Koroukian, Ileana Piña, Jennifer S. Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: Functional capacity is widely recognized as a key factor in maintaining the ability of older people to live independently and safely at home. Promoting functional capacity is an important priority particularly in HHC. The purpose of the study was to examine predictors of functional capacity change among HHC patients with HF. Materials and methods: Clinical and administrative data from 2005 from the Medicare Chronic Conditions Warehouse were linked at the population level for HHC patients with a primary diagnosis of HF. The primary outcome was change in functional capacity score from HHC admission to HHC discharge. Results: Over the course of the episode (M=44 days), most (70%) patients improved, 15.6% stayed the same, and 14.4% declined in activities of daily living (ADL) scores. The mean change score was modest (mean=-0.74, SD=1.11) with a median change of -0.58. Multivariate analyses (R 2=0.23) showed that the largest influence was the admission ADL score followed by receiving any physical therapy (PT), admission ability to manage oral medications, cognitive functioning, rehabilitation prognosis, and urinary incontinence. Discussion: There is a modest rate of improvement from admission to discharge that likely represents the progressive nature of HF and/or the short time frames over which HHC is provided. Providers may want to use the predictive factors to identify patients most at risk for functional decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e300-e306
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional status
  • Heart disease
  • Home and community based care services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of functional capacity changes in a US population of Medicare home health care (HHC) patients with heart failure (HF)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this