Functional recovery following rehabilitation after hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke

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Objectives: To quantify recovery after rehabilitation therapy and to identify factors that predicted functional outcome in survivors of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) compared with cerebral infarction.
Design: Retrospective study of consecutive ICH and cerebral infarction admissions to a rehabilitation hospital over a 4-year period.
Setting: Free-standing urban rehabilitation hospital.
Participants: A total of 1064 cases met the inclusion criteria (545 women, 519 men; 871 with cerebral infarction, 193 with ICH).
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measures: Functional status was measured using the FIM™ instrument, recorded at admission and discharge. Recovery was quantified by the change in FIM total score (ΔFIM total score). Outcome measures were total discharge FIM score and ΔFIM total score. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
Results: Total admission FIM score was higher in patients with cerebral infarction than in patients with ICH (59 vs 51, P=.0001). No difference in total discharge FIM score was present. Patients with ICH made a significantly greater recovery than those with cerebral infarction (ΔFIM total score, 28 vs 23.3; P=.002). On multivariate analysis, younger age, longer length of stay, and admission FIM cognitive subscore independently predicted total discharge FIM and ΔFIM total score. The severity of disability at admission, indicated by total admission FIM score, independently predicted total discharge FIM score, but not ΔFIM total score. The ICH patients with the most severely disabling strokes had significantly greater recovery than cerebral infarction patients with stroke of similar severity.
Conclusions: The patients with ICH had greater functional impairment than the cerebral infarction patients at admission, but made greater gains. Patients with the most severely disabling ICH improved more than those with cerebral infarction of comparable severity. Initial severity of disability, age, and duration of therapy best predicted functional outcome after rehabilitation.


Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation