Black-white differences in patient characteristics, treatments, and outcomes in inpatient stroke rehabilitation

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Nov;91(11):1712-21. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.04.013.


Objective: To describe racial differences in patient characteristics, nontherapy ancillaries, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and functional outcomes at discharge in stroke rehabilitation.

Design: Multicenter prospective observational cohort study of poststroke rehabilitation.

Setting: Six U.S. inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

Participants: Black and white patients (n=732), subdivided in case-mix subgroups (CMGs): CMGs 104 to 107 for moderate strokes (n=397), and CMGs 108 to 114 for severe strokes (n= 335).

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measure: FIM.

Results: Significant black-white differences in multiple patient characteristics and intensity of rehabilitation care were identified. White subjects took longer from stroke onset to rehabilitation admission and were more ambulatory prior to stroke. Black subjects had more diabetes. For patients with moderate stroke, black subjects were younger, were more likely to be women, and had more hypertension and obesity with body mass index greater than or equal to 30. For patients with severe stroke, black subjects were less sick and had higher admission FIM scores. White subjects received more minutes a day of OT, although black subjects had significantly longer median PT and OT session duration. No black-white differences in unadjusted stroke rehabilitation outcomes were found.

Conclusions: Reasons for differences in rehabilitation care between black and white subjects should be investigated to understand clinicians' choice of treatments by race. However, we did not find black-white differences in unadjusted stroke rehabilitation outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Black People*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Stroke / ethnology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People*