Readmission after elective surgery may result in delays in functional recovery for older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Margaret A. Pisani, MD, MPH, from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven. Conn., and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 566 community-dwelling older adults (mean age, 77 ± 5 years) undergoing major elective surgery. The authors assessed readmission over 18 months using multiple interviews with participants and family members.

The researchers found that 45% of participants experienced 503 readmissions. Readmission correlated with delays in functional recovery in all physical function measures. Having two or more readmissions during 18 months correlated with a persistent and significantly elevated risk of dependence in instrumental activities of daily living and activities of daily living.