Assessing outcomes for frail older people undergoing inpatient rehabilitation is a major research theme in CRGM.  Low levels of mobility during hospitalization are associated with functional decline and deconditioning (decline in muscle strength and bulk as a result of physical inactivity), leading to increased length of stay, post discharge readmission or transfer to permanent residential care.

A program of research to track illness and recovery in older patients is designed to monitor balance and mobility, using the Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM). The HABAM has been shown to be a valid, reliable, and responsive measure, and unlike most other mobility assessments can be used even in patients who are bedfast or chairfast. Its prognostic ability when used routinely by physiotherapists in the clinical setting and its relationship with frailty is the subject of an MPhil study supervised by Associate Professor Ruth Hubbard and Dr Nancye Peel. The relationship of the Frailty Index with gait speed, routinely measured in inpatient rehabilitation, and the change in the Frailty Index during rehabilitation are also programs of research being undertaken by Advanced Trainees in Geriatric Medicine.

Another major area of research is mobility monitoring using accelerometry. After a successful randomised trial of accelerometry in older rehabilitation patients whose goal was to regain mobility, this work has been extended to monitor mobility in amputees using ActivPal accelerometers. An important part of the rehabilitation process for such patients is gait re-training with a prosthesis. To facilitate patient care and prescribe appropriate physiotherapy, clinicians need to have a better understanding of lower limb prosthetic usage. A series of studies is being undertaken to examine the validity of the ActivPal accelerometer for recording the walking time of unilateral amputees mobilising with a prosthesis, the feasibility and acceptance of using the accelerometer devices to monitor level of physical activities for inpatient amputees, and to examine the accuracy of amputee estimated walking time (inpatient unilateral amputees mobilising with a prosthesis) comparing it with the data generated from accelerometry. These studies are being undertaken by an Advanced Trainee in Geriatric Medicine and a Physiotherapy honours student supervised by Dr Salih Salih and Dr Nancye Peel.