Medical complications experienced by first-time ischemic stroke patients during inpatient, tertiary level stroke rehabilitation

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Civelek G. M. , Atalay A., Turhan N.

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL THERAPY SCIENCE, vol.28, no.2, pp.382-391, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1589/jpts.28.382
  • Page Numbers: pp.382-391


[Purpose] The aim of this study was to assess the medical complications in first-time ischemic stroke patients, to identify the factors related to occurrence of complications. [Subjects and Methods] First-time ischemic stroke patients (n=81) admitted to a tertiary level inpatient rehabilitation center during a 5 year period were included in the study. The attending physiatrist noted the presence of specific medical complications and complications that required transfer to the acute care facility from patient records. The Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project classification was used to define the clinical subtypes of the ischemic stroke patients. The Charlson comorbidity index was used to evaluate co-morbid conditions. Functional disability was assessed using the Functional Independence Measure at admission and discharge. [Results] We found that 88.9% of the patients had at least one complication. The five most common complications were urinary tract infection (48.1%), shoulder pain (37.0%), insomnia (37.0%), depression (32.1%), and musculoskeletal pain other than shoulder pain (32.1%) and 11.1% of patients were transferred to acute care facility during rehabilitation period. Functional Independence Measure scores both at admission and discharge were significantly lower in patients with at least one complication than in patients with no complications. [Conclusion] Medical complications are common among patients undergoing stroke rehabilitation. Close interdisciplinary collaboration between physiatrists and other medical specialities is necessary for optimal management.