BACKGROUND: Current demographic trends pose a major societal challenge due to the rising number of older people with chronic conditions such as stroke. The relative impact of various disabilities at the time of discharge from an acute unit on discharge outcome is poorly understood.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between cognition, continence and transfer status at the time of discharge from the acute stroke unit and discharge destination.
METHODS: A retrospective stroke register database study was conducted in an acute stroke unit in a UK hospital with a catchment population of 568,000. Consecutive acute stroke admissions between 1997 and 2003 who were discharged alive were identified and the likelihood of adverse discharge outcomes defined as institutionalization or a requirement for longer-term rehabilitation was estimated.
RESULTS: A total of 2,521 discharges were analyzed (median length of hospital stay 8 days). The presence of confusion, urinary incontinence or the need for help with transfers at the time of discharge predicted a higher likelihood of an adverse outcome even after controlling for age, stroke subtype, premorbid Rankin score and length of hospital stay. The need for help with transfers appeared to be the most consistent and significant factor associated with an adverse outcome regardless of age, sex or stroke subtype across the sample distribution.
CONCLUSION: The ability to transfer has a pivotal role in the clinical decision making of discharge destination after stroke. Understanding of the factors which may increase the potential for improving this ability after acute stroke could have an impact on clinical outcome.
- aged, 80 and over
- length of stay
- middle aged
- patient discharge
- patient transfer
- retrospective studies
- risk factors
- treatment outcome
- urinary incontinence