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Association between mental health conditions and rehospitalization, mortality, and functional outcomes in patients with stroke following inpatient rehabilitation

DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-11-311

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Our observational study used the 2001 VA Integrated Stroke Outcomes database of 2162 patients with stroke who underwent rehabilitation at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.Separate models were fit to our outcome measures that included 6-month rehospitalization or death, 6-month mortality post-discharge, and functional outcomes post inpatient rehabilitation as a function of number and type of mental health conditions. The models controlled for patient socio-demographics, length of stay, functional status, and rehabilitation setting.Patients had an average age of 68 years. Patients with stroke and two or more mental health conditions were more likely to be readmitted or die compared to patients with no conditions (OR: 1.44, p = 0.04). Depression and anxiety were associated with a greater likelihood of rehospitalization or death (OR: 1.33, p = 0.04; OR:1.47, p = 0.03). Patients with anxiety were more likely to die at six months (OR: 2.49, p = 0.001).Patients with stroke with pre-existing mental health conditions may need additional psychotherapy interventions, which may potentially improve stroke outcomes post-hospitalization.Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability [1]. Compared to other medical diagnoses, stroke has a higher mortality rate, more readmissions, and higher costs of care [2]. Patients without stroke, but having mental health disorders are also more likely to be re-hospitalized, have higher mortality rates, and have lower functional outcomes compared to patients without these disorders [3-9]. Moreover, when mental health disorders co-occur with other medical conditions, this co-occurrence tends to reduce quality of life, mortality, and adherence to interventions [10-14]. Although studies exist on patients with post-stroke depression and its association with readmissions, mortality, and functional outcomes [15-19], few studies have examined these outcomes in patients with stroke and pre-existing mental health disor


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