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Predictors identified for rehospitalization among post-acute stroke patients
Date:4/6/2012

ne facilities in eight states and the District of Columbia. Data were collected via discharge follow-up interviews conducted by each facility within 72 hours of release and again three months later. These included:

  • Rehospitalization within three months of discharge from inpatient rehabilitation;
  • Sociodemographic characteristics, including age, gender, race/ethnicity, education and marital status;
  • Clinical measures, including comorbidity, length of rehabilitation stay, stroke type and body involvement (e.g., right, left, bilateral);
  • Functional status (e.g., activities related to self care, communication, social cognition, mobility and control of bodily functions);
  • Depression symptoms; and
  • Social support, to determine risk of isolation.

Of the nearly 700 stoke patients, approximately 18 percent were rehospitalized during the three months following discharge. Patients with better motor and cognitive abilities at rehabilitation discharge were less likely to be rehospitalized; conversely, those reporting more depressive symptoms and/or lower levels of social support were most likely to be readmitted.

Dr. Ottenbacher identified social support as being one of the most important predictors identified because it can be factored into discharge plans and used to identify patients who could benefit from services designed to prevent hospital readmission, such as home health services. This is a significant finding, as information on patients' social support is not currently included in data sets that could influence health policy, he said.

In white patients, signs of depression increased the risk of rehospitalization by 21 percent. However, minorities with depressive symptoms had a five percent lower risk of being readmitted. The difference was diminished when the researchers adjusted their analyses to account for racial and ethnic variables, such as disease comorbidity, and the study's small sample size of min
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Contact: Molly Dannenmaier
mjdannen@utmb.edu
409-772-8790
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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