Black-white disparities in motor function outcomes taking into account patient characteristics, nontherapy ancillaries, therapy activities, and therapy interventions

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Nov;91(11):1722-30. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.08.007.


Objective: To assess black-white differences in functional outcomes, controlling for patient characteristics, use of nontherapy ancillaries (NTAs), and use of physical (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) activities and interventions.

Design: Multicenter prospective observational cohort study of poststroke rehabilitation.

Setting: Six U.S. inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

Participants: Patients (N=732) subdivided into case-mix subgroups (CMGs; CMGs 104-107 for moderate strokes [n=397], CMGs 108-114 for severe strokes [n=335]).

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measure: Discharge Motor FIM.

Results: Taking into account patient characteristics, NTAs, and therapy activities, multivariate regressions explained (R(2)) 54% and 69% of variation in outcomes between patients with moderate and severe stroke, respectively. Black race was associated with lower outcomes than white race in the severe group. However, race was no longer associated with outcomes after including interventions used within PT and OT activities. Including interventions within therapy activities increased R(2) to 64% and 74% for moderate and severe strokes, respectively. Some PT and OT activities were provided more to blacks than whites and vice versa. Greater intensity sometimes was associated with better and sometimes with poorer functional outcomes.

Conclusions: After controlling for interventions within activities, no racial differences were found in functional outcomes at discharge despite racial differences in rehabilitation care, possibly because each racial group received a mixture of interventions that were negatively and positively associated with outcome. Clinicians should provide therapies associated with better outcomes with high and similar intensities for black and white patients poststroke.

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
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke / ethnology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People*