The efficacy of rehabilitation for elderly hemodialysis patients: a retrospective, single center study

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Chronic kidney disease is associated with an increased risk of vascular events and bone fractures, and its prevalence is increasing. Despite the high frequency of strokes and bone fractures in the hemodialysis (HD) population, the few studies on rehabilitation outcomes in this population are controversial. The current study assessed the efficacy of inpatient rehabilitation for hemodialysis patients. Methods: This is a retrospective, observational review of medical records of all chronic HD patients who underwent rehabilitation in Meir Medical Center, from 2008 to 2018. The primary endpoint was functional independence measure (FIM) score at discharge. Secondary endpoints were all-cause mortality, efficiency of rehabilitation and discharge destination from rehabilitation. Results: During the study period, 162 patients were included in the analysis. 76/81 (93.8%) hemodialysis patients had improvement FIM scores. There were no significant differences in FIM scores at discharge between hemodialysis patients and controls. However, the efficiency of rehabilitation expressed by FIM efficiency (progress measured as FIM gain/length of stay in rehabilitation) was higher in hemodialysis vs. controls. 73% of hemodialysis patients were discharged home. There was no significant difference in discharge destinations between groups. Both 30-day and 1-year mortality after admission to rehabilitation was higher in HD vs. controls (OR 4.97, 95% CI 1.4–18.2, p = 0.008 and OR 4.98, 95% CI 1.8–14.1, p value = 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: Hemodialysis patients may benefit from inpatient rehabilitation. Although mortality was higher, efficacy of rehabilitation for hemodialysis patients is comparable to non-dialysis patients and is no less effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Functional independence measure
  • Geriatric nephrology
  • Hemodialysis
  • Rehabilitation


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