From PTJ: For the Very Elderly, Poststroke IRF Stays May Not Be Long Enough

From PTJ: For the Very Elderly, Poststroke IRF Stays May Not Be Long Enough

For patients who are very elderly, receiving postacute stroke care in inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) often results in increased functional ability, with 54% of patients achieving discharge to the community. But, say researchers who studied IRF data from 2002 to 2007, there are “worrisome trends” that point to the notion that the average length of stay (LOS) wasn’t enough to produce a clinically significant increase in function.

The study, e-published ahead of print in Physical Therapy (PTJ), APTA’s scientific journal, examined functional outcomes and length of stay in inpatient rehabilitation facilities for patients with stroke at age 85 or older. Most studies haven’t broken out the data for this age group, which is “most at risk for disability,” authors note.

Authors focused on IRFs because stroke outcomes have been “consistently associated with more functional improvements and more discharges to home” for patients in IRFs than for those in skilled nursing facilities. IRFs are required to provide at least 3 hours of therapy per day.

Full story of elderly poststroke IRFs at APTA

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