Objective: To examine how depressive symptoms, a history of depression, and cognitive functioning contribute to the prediction of rehabilitation efficiency in stroke patients.
Design: Consecutive admissions to an acute inpatient rehabilitation program were screened for cognitive functioning and level of depressive symptoms. History of depression was determined by family member interview. Functional status was evaluated at time of admission and discharge. Depressive symptoms, depression history, and cognitive functioning were examined as predictors of length of stay (LOS) and efficiency of utilization of rehabilitation services.
Setting: Acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital.
Patients: A total of 348 consecutive stroke admissions to an inpatient program were evaluated for depression and cognitive functioning, of whom 243 patients completed all aspects of the screening.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Rehabilitation progress, measured with the LOS efficiency measure (LOS-EFF) of the FIM instrument, and length of rehabilitation hospital stay.
Results: Patients with higher levels of depressive symptoms used rehabilitation services less efficiently than those with lower symptom levels but did not have longer LOSs. History of depression was associated with longer LOS and less efficient use of rehabilitation services. Cognitive impairment did not predict rehabilitation efficiency.
Conclusions: The present study lends further support to the benefits of screening stroke patients at the time of rehabilitation admission for depression and history of depression. Identifying patients who have high levels of depressive symptoms and/or a previous depressive episode will allow more comprehensive assessment and rapid intervention.
Copyright 2001 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation