Rehabilitation profiles of older adult stroke survivors admitted to intermediate care units: A multi-centre study

Laura M. Pérez, Marco Inzitari, Terence J. Quinn, Joan Montaner, Ricard Gavaldà, Esther Duarte, Laura Coll-Planas, Mercè Cerdà, Sebastià Santaeugenia, Conxita Closa, Miquel Gallofré

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© 2016 Pérez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults, but the evidence around post-acute treatment is limited and heterogeneous. We aimed to identify profiles of older adult stroke survivors admitted to intermediate care geriatric rehabilitation units. Methods: We performed a cohort study, enrolling stroke survivors aged 65 years or older, admitted to 9 intermediate care units in Catalonia-Spain. To identify potential profiles, we included age, caregiver presence, comorbidity, pre-stroke and post-stroke disability, cognitive impairment and stroke severity in a cluster analysis. We also proposed a practical decision tree for patient's classification in clinical practice. We analyzed differences between profiles in functional improvement (Barthel index), relative functional gain (Montebello index), length of hospital stay (LOS), rehabilitation efficiency (functional improvement by LOS), and new institutionalization using multivariable regression models (for continuous and dichotomous outcomes). Results: Among 384 patients (79.1±7.9 years, 50.8% women), we identified 3 complexity profiles: a) Lower Complexity with Caregiver (LCC), b) Moderate Complexity without Caregiver (MCN), and c) Higher Complexity with Caregiver (HCC). The decision tree showed high agreement with cluster analysis (96.6%). Using either linear (continuous outcomes) or logistic regression, both LCC and MCN, compared to HCC, showed statistically significant higher chances of functional improvement (OR = 4.68, 95%CI = 2.54-8.63 and OR = 3.0, 95%CI = 1.52-5.87, respectively, for Barthel index improvement ≥20), relative functional gain (OR = 4.41, 95%CI = 1.81-10.75 and OR = 3.45, 95%CI = 1.31-9.04, respectively, for top Vs lower tertiles), and rehabilitation efficiency (OR = 7.88, 95%CI = 3.65-17.03 and OR = 3.87, 95%CI = 1.69-8.89, respectively, for top Vs lower tertiles). In relation to LOS, MCN cluster had lower chance of shorter LOS than LCC (OR = 0.41, 95%CI = 0.23-0.75) and HCC (OR = 0.37, 95%CI = 0.19-0.73), for LOS lower Vs higher tertiles. Conclusion: Our data suggest that post-stroke rehabilitation profiles could be identified using routine assessment tools and showed differential recovery. If confirmed, these findings might help to develop tailored interventions to optimize recovery of older stroke patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166304
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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