OBJECTIVE. African-American elders were recruited from a transitional unit after hospitalization and tracked for 6 months in the community after discharge to (a) examine functional outcomes on the unit and in the community and (b) identify patterns of participation in daily life activities. The International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps (ICIDH-2) framework provided the structure to examine the connections among body systems, functional outcomes, and social participation for this population that has been underrepresented in past research.
METHOD. A mixed design combined qualitative and quantitative methods, including qualitative interviews to document personal adaptive experience, a standardized functional assessment to identify functional outcomes, and a structured format to record activity participation.
RESULTS. Findings revealed that 11 of the 17 participants improved their functional outcomes after discharge. Three patterns of activity participation identified were self-care, self-care and household management, and mixed activities. Contextual influences were diverse family support arrangements.
CONCLUSION. Complex relationships were identified among body systems, functional outcomes, and daily life activities that were influenced by individual values and support arrangements.