Publication Date

Spring 2015

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Roberta O'Shea, PT, DPT, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rebecca K. Wojcik, PT, Ed.D., GCS

Third Advisor

Russell E. Carter, PT, Ed.D.


Background and Purpose: Research suggests that older adults are more likely to be hospitalized and to be at risk for hospital-associated deconditioning after successful treatment of their medical condition.This case report demonstrates that a walking program with progressive resistive exercises (PREs) helped one 92 year old female patient, suffering from hospital associated deconditioning, improve her strength, cardiovascular endurance, and functional abilities, including sit-stand transfers, ambulation with the least resistive assistive device (LRAD) and stair climbing. These improvements allowed the patient to return to her prior level of functioning, living independently in her 2nd story apartment with assistance as needed from her daughter.

Case Description: Patient MA, a 92 year old African-American female was admitted to a subacute rehabilitation (SAR) floor of a local suburban hospital after 14 days in an acute care hospital due to a hemorrhagic stroke.

Outcomes: After completing her plan of care, the patient demonstrated that she had regained her ability to ambulate community distances with a rolling walker, to transfer sit-stand independently and to ascend and descend three flights stairs to enter her house. After 3 weeks, the patient increased aerobic endurance by 3166% as measured by the 2MWT.

Discussion: Research and this case report suggest that physical therapists can effectively use a walking and strength training program to help patients reverse the effects of hospital associated deconditioning.