The efficacy of rehabilitation for elderly chronic kidney disease patients: a retrospective, single-center study

Erez Sarel*, Naomi Nacasch, Ilan Rozenberg, Rachel Heffez Ayzenfeld, Sydney Benchetrit, Jacob Feldman, Keren Cohen-Hagai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: As the geriatric population is growing rapidly, so is the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Suitable rehabilitation programs are needed to decrease disability and improve functionality to maintain independence in activities of daily life. Aims: To assess the impact of CKD on the efficacy of rehabilitation in the geriatric population. Methods: Retrospective single-center cohort study, demographic and clinical data of 190 elderly, non-dialysis dependent CKD patients, who underwent rehabilitation, during 2016–2020 were analyzed. Results: Early CKD patients had longer duration of rehabilitation as compared with advanced CKD (32.6 ± 19.5 vs. 25.1 ± 17.6 days, p = 0.011) and tended to be more independent at discharge (37.2% vs. 27.9%, respectively; p < 0.001). Duration of rehabilitation, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Functional Independence Measurement (FIM) admission and estimated GFR were important predictors of FIM at discharge. Age was negatively correlated with admission FIM, eGFR, MMSE, and discharge FIM. The odds ratio for mortality among patients with advanced as compared to early CKD was 2.197 (CI 95% 1.159–4.166, p = 0.015). Discussion: Existing rehabilitation programs raise questions of suitability for the consistently aging population, play an indispensable part in the goal of achieving functional independence in the elderly and should promote further investigation of the efficacy of rehabilitation for CKD patients. Conclusions: Advanced CKD was associated with lower FIM at admission and discharge, shorter duration of rehabilitation and more dependence at discharge, as compared to patients with early CKD. Implementing a multidisciplinary team, focused on the specific needs of geriatric CKD patients, with clear, objective parameters and goals may lead to better rehabilitative outcomes, with decreased public and private costs of ongoing care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1406
Number of pages8
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Geriatric nephrology
  • Rehabilitation


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