AbstractBackground and Purpose
The most powerful predictors of functional recovery and eventual home discharge among stroke survivors are the initial severity of the stroke and the patient's age. We analyzed a large population of stroke rehabilitation admissions by stratifying subgroups with coherent outcomes in an attempt to define potentially more efficient patterns of providing rehabilitation care.Methods
We retrospectively analyzed 520 consecutive patients admitted to a rehabilitation hospital (1 calendar year) with cerebral infarction or hemorrhage. Side of index stroke, age, and functional disability at admission were the independent variables. Change in functional disability and home versus nursing home discharge were the dependent measures.Results
Recovery was overall most closely related to admission severity and age, but the relations between recovery and independent measures were complex. Patients aged <55 years all were discharged home whatever their initial severity. Patients admitted with modest functional disability were almost all discharged home (96%), whatever their age. For the remainder of the patients, admission severity and age interacted to create two groups with very different prospects for home discharge (P < .0001). Within the groups that eventually returned home, there were very different rates of functional improvement that were directly related to length of hospital stay.Conclusions
Standard clinical measures available at rehabilitation admission carry enough predictive power to define management strategies for stroke survivors. A management algorithm is proposed that might increase the efficiency of stroke rehabilitation programs and might allow comparisons of efficacy between different treatment settings.