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Ideal timing to transfer from an acute care hospital to an interdisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation program following a stroke: an exploratory study

DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-6-151

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A total of 418 patients discharged from the inpatient neurological rehabilitation program at the Montreal Rehabilitation Hospital Network after a first stroke (79% of all cases reviewed) were included in this retrospective study. After conducting a matching procedure across these patients based on the degree of disability, gender, and age, a total of 40 homogeneous triads (n = 120) were formed according to the three OAI subgroups: short (less than 20 days), moderate (between 20 and 40 days) or long (over 40 days; maximum of 70 days) OAI subgroups. The rehabilitation outcomes (admission and discharge Functional Independence Measure scores (FIM), absolute and relative FIM gain scores, rehabilitation length of stay, efficiency scores) were evaluated to test for differences between the three OAI subgroups.Analysis revealed that the three OAI subgroups were comparable for all rehabilitation outcomes studied. No statistical difference was found for admission (P = 0.305–0.972) and discharge (P = 0.083–0.367) FIM scores, absolute (P = 0.533–0.647) and relative (P = 0.496–0.812) FIM gain scores, rehabilitation length of stay (P = 0.096), and efficiency scores (P = 0.103–0.674).OAI does not seem to affect significantly inpatient stroke rehabilitation outcomes of patients referred from acute care facilities where rehabilitation services are rapidly initiated after the onset of the stroke and offered throughout their stay. However, other studies considering factors such as the type and intensity of the rehabilitation are required to support those results.The demand for rehabilitation services following stroke is rapidly growing since the population at risk for vasculocerebral accident is continuously increasing and the progress in acute clinical management have resulted in higher survival rates over the past few years [1]. Due to limited financial and specialized human resources, the publicly-funded and universal-access health care system is challenged by this increasing demand


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