Image of Brian Downer, Ph.D.; Credit: University of Texas Medical Branch
Brian Downer, Ph.D.; Image credit: University of Texas Medical Branch

Black residents in skilled nursing facilities are less likely than those in other racial and ethnic groups to experience improvement in activities of daily living (ADL) after hospital discharge, researchers say.

Investigators examined health records from Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who required care after an acute care stay for hip fracture, joint replacement or stroke. They used information from the Minimum Data Set to calculate ADL scores for self-performance in dressing, personal hygiene, toileting, locomotion on the unit, transferring, bed mobility and eating.

Among more than 488,000 patients, 70% improved independence in ADLs. But when compared to white residents, Black residents had “significantly lower odds” of reaching this goal if they had hip fracture and stroke. This difference was not seen when comparing residents recovering from joint replacement, reported Brian Downer, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX.

“Improving independence in daily activities is an important outcome of post-acute nursing home care,” Downer and colleagues wrote. “Future research should investigate systemic factors that may contribute to disparities in the improvement in ADL function during a SNF stay,” they concluded.

The study was published in The Annals of Long-Term Care.