BACKGROUND AND AIMS Sarcopenia is characterized by low muscle mass and function, and is associated with greater functional dependence and disability. Sarcopenia and diabetes mellitus (diabetes) are interrelated conditions that share a number of causative factors and clinical features. Diabetes is also associated with greater disability. We set out to conduct a systematic review to determine how the diagnoses of diabetes and sarcopenia are associated with patients’ inpatient rehabilitation (IPR) outcomes.
METHOD We followed the methodologic PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews (Liberati et al, 2009). MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase and Cochrane were systematically searched up to February 2016. The primary search terms used were ‘sarcopenia’, ‘diabetes mellitus’ and ‘rehabilitation’. Reference lists of the relevant studies were checked for additional studies which were not identified initially. Original research articles were included and studies were not excluded based on year of publication, language, quality or outcome measures.
RESULTS Systematic literature search identified 115 potentially relevant articles. To date, review of abstracts and subsequently full text identified 7 original research studies investigating the association of diabetes or sarcopenia with IPR outcomes that were included in qualitative synthesis: 2 on sarcopenia and 5 on diabetes; 3 prospective, 4 retrospective; patient population: 2 stroke IPR, 2 hip fracture IPR, 3 general IPR; progress measured using 7 different outcome measures; statistically significant associations found: 4 out of 5 studies in diabetes, 1 out of 2 studies in sarcopenia. There were no studies simultaneously examining the association between concurrent diabetes and sarcopenia and IPR outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS Original research examining the association between diabetes, sarcopenia and IPR outcomes is scarce. The relationship between combined effect of diabetes and sarcopenia with IPR outcomes is currently unknown.