Older adults account for 25% of hospitalized trauma patients and these rates are anticipated to increase so that by 2050 approximately 40% of all trauma patients will be older adults. These patients generally have multiple comorbidities and decreased physiologic reserve and when exposed to acute care environments and medical and nursing interventions that restrict movement an unintentional decline in overall physical activity and function occurs. These individuals are also more likely to develop infections, pressure ulcers and fall when hospitalized and require unscheduled rehospitalizations post discharge. Older trauma patients have little opportunity to engage in physical activity because of environmental and policy issues (e.g., cluttered rooms, lack of appropriate chairs), philosophies of care held by patients, familie, and health care providers (e.g., beliefs that falls are prevented by restricting mobility) and motivational factors among patients. To overcome these challenges we developed Function Focused Care for Trauma Recovery (FFC-TR). The purpose of FFC- TR is to change care philosophies such that nurses teach, cue, position and help patients engage in physical activity including such things as bathing, dressing, getting out of bed and walking. Function focused care (FFC) contrasts with traditional approaches to care provided to patients in which nurses, and other caregivers, perform tasks for older patients or limit the amount of activity they might perform (e.g., giving patients a urinal or bedpan versus helping patients walk to the bathroom). FFC activities are individualized and are therefore relevant for all patients regardless of diagnoses or comorbidities.
The aims of this study are to: (1) Establish the feasibility of FFC-TR; and (2) Evaluate, in a preliminary fashion, the impact of FFC-TR on patients'function, physical performance and overall physical activity, and incidence of adverse events during hospitalization and unscheduled rehospitalizations within 30 days of discharge. To achieve these aims, two trauma hospitals will be randomly allocated to treatment (FFC-TR) or attention control [FFC-Education (FFC- ED)]. The FFC-TR intervention, which is based on a social ecological model and social cognitive theory, will be implemented by a Research Function Focused Care Nurse working on treatment units 20 hours a week for 16 months and will include: Component I Education of Nurses;Component II Environmental and Policy Assessments;and Component III Ongoing Training and Motivation of Nurses. Component I includes four classes: Class 1. Overview of FFC;Class 2. Patient Goal Development;Class 3. Optimizing Physical Activity Safely;and Class 4. Patient Motivation. FFC-ED involves exposing nurses to Component I only. We will recruit 50 patients from each hospital and measure patient outcomes. This pilot work will help establish recruitment rates, confounders such as case mix and demographic variables consider treatment safety and provide the necessary data such as means, standard deviations and estimation of treatment effects and variance for future power analyses and a larger efficacy trial.

Public Health Relevance

This study will address the feasibility of Function Focused Care for Trauma Recovery (FFC-TR). Function Focused Care is an approach to care in which nurses acknowledge older adults'physical and cognitive capabilities with regard to engaging in physical activity (bathing, dressing, walking, simple exercise) and integrate physical activity int all care interactions. Our goal in this work is to establish a practical and effective way to prevet immobility, deconditioning and functional impairment in older hospitalized trauma patients and thereby optimize recovery, prevent associated complications and non-elective hospitalizations within 30 days of discharge.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences Study Section (NRCS)
Program Officer
Mccloskey, Donna J
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Maryland Baltimore
Schools of Nursing
United States
Zip Code
Resnick, Barbara; Klinedinst, N Jennifer; Yerges-Armstrong, Laura et al. (2016) Pain, Genes, and Function in the Post-Hip Fracture Period. Pain Manag Nurs 17:181-96
Resnick, Barbara; Wells, Chris; Galik, Elizabeth et al. (2016) Feasibility and Efficacy of Function-Focused Care for Orthopedic Trauma Patients. J Trauma Nurs 23:144-55
Resnick, Barbara; Beaupre, Lauren; McGilton, Katherine S et al. (2016) Rehabilitation Interventions for Older Individuals With Cognitive Impairment Post-Hip Fracture: A Systematic Review. J Am Med Dir Assoc 17:200-5
Resnick, Barbara; Galik, Elizabeth; Wells, Chris L et al. (2015) Optimizing physical activity among older adults post trauma: Overcoming system and patient challenges. Int J Orthop Trauma Nurs 19:194-206