Rehabilitation Reduced Readmission and Mortality Risks in Patients With Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack: A Population-based Study

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It remains unclear whether rehabilitation has an impact on reducing the long-term risk of mortality or readmission following stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).


To investigate the association between the dosage and continuation of rehabilitation and the risk of outcome events (OEs) after stroke or TIA.

Research Design:

A retrospective cohort study using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance database.


In total, 4594 patients admitted with first-ever acute stroke or TIA were followed-up for 32 months.


The occurrence of 3 OEs: (1) vascular readmissions/all-cause mortality [vascular event (VE)], (2) all-cause readmissions/mortality (OE1), and (3) all-cause mortality (OE2), in model 1: none, low-intensity, and high-intensity rehabilitation; and model 2: inpatient plus/or outpatient rehabilitation.


Comparing with patients without rehabilitation, in model 1, patients receiving low-intensity rehabilitation had a lower risk of VE [Hazard ratio (HR), 0.77; 95% CI, 0.68–0.87] and OE1 (HR, 0.77; CI, 0.71–0.84), but not OE2 (HR, 0.91; CI, 0.77–1.07). Patients receiving high-intensity rehabilitation had lower risks of all VE (HR, 0.68; CI, 0.58–0.79), OE1 (HR, 0.79; CI, 0.71–0.88), and OE2 (HR, 0.56; CI, 0.44–0.71). In model 2, patients receiving inpatient plus outpatient rehabilitation had a lowest risk of VE (HR, 0.55; CI, 0.47–0.65), OE1 (HR, 0.65; CI, 0.58–0.72), and OE2 (HR, 0.45; CI, 0.35–0.59). Sensitivity analysis with TIA excluded rendered the similar trend. Subgroup analyses found that the positive effect was not demonstrated in hemorrhagic stroke patients.


Rehabilitation use was associated with reduction of readmissions/mortality risks following stroke or TIA. The optimal intensity and duration of rehabilitation and the discrepancy shown in hemorrhagic stroke need further clarification.

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