You‑Chien Hsua, Guei‑Chiuan Chena, Pei‑Ya Chena, Shinn‑Kuang Lina,b*
aStroke Center and Department of Neurology, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei, Taiwan, bSchool of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan
Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation
Objectives: The National Health Insurance Bureau of Taiwan has established a postacute care model of stroke (PAC‑stroke). Patients with acute stroke occurring within the preceding 30 days and with modified Rankin scale (mRS) scores of 2–4 can be transferred to PAC hospitals for 6–12 weeks of rehabilitation. We conducted a retrospective review to explore the results of PAC‑stroke. Materials and Methods: From April 2015 to December 2017, patients who transferred from our hospital to four PAC hospitals were reviewed.
We evaluated their functional status using the mRS, Barthel index (BI), functional oral intake scale, EuroQoL‑5D, Lawton–Brody instrumental activities of daily living scale, Berg balance test, usual gait speed, 6‑min walk test, Fugl–Meyer sensory and motor
assessments, mini‑mental state examination, motor activity log quantity and quality tests, and concise Chinese aphasia test, before and after the PAC program. Results: A total of 53 patients with initial mRS score of 3 (6 patients) or 4 (47 patients) were enrolled, including 39 with cerebral infarction and 14 with cerebral hemorrhage, with a median age of 67 (mean: 68.3 ± 13.3) years. Seven patients had serious complications, including six cases of pneumonia and one fracture. The readmission rates within 14 days after transfer to the PAC hospital and in the overall PAC program were 3.8% and 13.2%, respectively. After exclusion of eight patients who dropped out early, 45 patients completed the PAC program. The median lengths of stay at the upstream hospital and PAC hospitals were
26 and 63 days, respectively. Improved mRS and BI scores were observed in 42% and 78% of the patients, respectively. The results of all 14 functional assessments improved significantly after the PAC program. Conclusion: Significant improvements in mRS and
BI scores and all functional assessments within an average of 63 days of PAC hospital stay helped 73% of the patients to return home.
Keywords: Acute stroke, Barthel index, Functional outcome, Modified Rankin scale, Postacute care