DOI: 10.1002/pmrj.13065 ISSN:

From Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility to Skilled Nursing Facility to Home: A Retrospective Study of Functional Recovery

Alexis M. Philippe, Rez Farid
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Level of Evidence



Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) care has an inherent goal of discharging patients back into the community. Some patients do not progress sufficiently and require discharge to alternate facilities. No prior studies have examined outcomes for patients requiring Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) placement after their stay at an IRF.


Our goal was to identify functional outcomes of patients who receive combined rehabilitation from IRF and SNF.


This is a retrospective observational study. A semi‐structured phone call questionnaire evaluated for living situation and aid requirement at 2 time points: prior to acute hospitalization and following discharge from SNF.


Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility


Persons who required post‐acute care stay at an IRF, and at time of discharge, were not yet safe to return home, so instead were admitted to a SNF.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures

Changes in pre‐ & post‐morbid functional status categorized by living situation and aid requirement.


Forty‐three adults completed the study. 58.2% of respondents returned to baseline independence following stay at IRF followed by SNF. 63.4% of respondents who lived at home prior to acute hospitalization returned home following IRF and SNF stay.


Our findings indicate that those patients who receive further rehabilitation at a SNF following discharge from an IRF have the potential to return to baseline functioning and subsequently return home. This data suggests that utilizing IRFs in conjunction with SNFs might be an effective, patient‐centered option for rehabilitation. However, further investigation is required to explore whether these findings may be generalized to a larger sample are warranted.

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