Skilled Nursing Facility

High intensity therapy may lead to better outcomes for residents

SNF residents who receive high intensity therapy have the lowest 30-day hospital readmission rates, according to a study conducted by the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Physical Therapy Association.

High intensity therapy is defined as 90 to 219 hours during the time of care. While the study shows that high intensity therapy leads to lower hospital readmission rates, the study also found that residents who complete typical-intensity therapy (22 to 27 hours on average) have a slightly higher change in functional score.

Key findings from the study include:

  • The intensity of occupational therapy and physical therapy services is associated with improved ability to perform everyday functional activities such as bathing, dressing, and transferring.
  • People who received the fewest minutes of physical therapy and occupational therapy were at the highest risk for hospital readmission across all post-acute care settings.