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Study Finds Patients’ Time at Home after a Stroke Varies by Hospital

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Reuters Health writes: Stroke survivors may spend more time at home – as opposed to a nursing home or a hospital – if they were treated at a place that handles a lot of stroke patients or that’s located in a rural area, a U.S. study suggests. Patients treated at smaller hospitals also tended to spend more days at home after a stroke, the study also found.

To assess how hospital characteristics influence home-time, researchers analyzed data on 156,887 patients 65 and older who were discharged from 989 hospitals across the U.S. from 2007 to 2011.All of the patients had what’s known as ischemic stroke, which results from an obstruction in a blood vessel supplying the brain. Researchers sorted hospitals into four groups from lowest to highest amounts of home time, when patients avoided a repeat hospitalization or a stay in nursing home or other care facility. Over the first three months after discharge, average home time was 62 to 73 days for patients treated at hospitals in the highest-ranked group, compared with 49 to 58 days with hospitals in the lowest quartile, researchers report in the journal Stroke. During the first year after discharge, average home time was 274 to 302 days for hospitals in the highest-ranked group, compared with 243 to 264 days for the lowest quartile.

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