The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship among health-related quality of life (HRQOL), physical fitness, and physical activity in older patients after recent discharge from hospital. One hundred fifteen independent-living older adults (ages 70–92 years) were included. HRQOL (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey), physical activity (Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly), and physical fitness (Senior Fitness Test) were measured 2–4 weeks after discharge. Higher levels of physical activity and physical fitness were correlated with higher self-reported HRQOL. Although cause and effect cannot be determined from this study, the results suggest that a particular focus on the value of physical activity and physical fitness while in hospital and when discharged from hospital may be important to encourage patients to actively preserve independence and HRQOL. It may be especially important to target those with lower levels of physical activity, poorer physical fitness, and multiple comorbidities.
Brovold and Bergland are with the Inst. of Physical Therapy, Oslo, and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway. Skelton is with the School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. Sylliaas is with Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway. Mowe is with Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. Address author correspondence to Therese Brovold at Therese.Brovold@hioa.no