Physical Rehabilitation


The ageing process is associated with physiological changes including decreased muscle mass, increased fat mass and altered muscle-nerve function resulting in decreased functional capacity. 

Acute illness combined with inactivity and bed rest during hospitalization accelerates the age-related changes in functional capacity. Thus, the older medical patient is at risk of loosing functional independency during hospitalization. Research on exercise during hospitalization and post-discharge have shown beneficial effects on functional independency. However, the interventions have been characterised by comprehensive exercise programmes resulting in a lack of compliance. 

Main focus 

The aim of our studies concerning physical activity and exercise is to reduce inactivity-induced loss of functional capacity and provide optimal physical rehabilitation for older medical patients during hospitalization and after discharge. The aim is to obtain high compliance by developing an exercise programme that is simple, easily implemented and targeted at the individual ability of the older medical patient. 

On-going studies 

Development of a Simple and Intensive Exercise Program That can be Implemented Both in Hospital and the Community Setting. Mette Merete Pedersen [Patients are enrolled] 

Effekten på Funktionsniveau og Muskelmasse af Høj-Protein Diæt under Indlæggelse samt Proteintilskud og Vægtbærende Træning Efter Udskrivelse hos Ældre Medicinske Patienter med SIRS: Et Randomiseret Kontrolleret Interventionsstudie. Sussi Friis Buhl, Aino Leegaard Andersen, and Mette Merete Pedersen [Study under progress] 

The Effect of a High Protein Diet During Hospitalization and Protein Supplements Combined with Weight-Bearing Training after Discharge on Muscle Mass and Activities of Daily Living Among Older Medical Patients with SIRS: a Randomized Controlled Trial, Sussi Friis Buhl and Aino Leegaard Andersen, Master thesis, Supervisor: Jens Richard Andersen, Lector, Faculty of nutriction, sport and exercise KU, Thesis deadline 1 November 2013 [Study in progress] 

Finished studies 

Twenty-Four-Hour mobility during acute hospitalization in older medical patients. Pedersen MM, Bodilsen C, Petersen J, Beyer N, Andersen O, Lawson-Smith L, Kehlet H, Bandholm T. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Mar;68(3):331-7 

Acute hospitalization of the old medical patient: Changes in muscle strength and functional performance during and 30 days after discharge. Bodilsen AC, Pedersen MM, Petersen J, Beyer N, Andersen O, Smith LL, Kehlet H, Bandholm T. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Sep;92(9):789-96