Background Stroke rehabilitation improves functional recovery among stroke patients. However, little is known about clinical practice in China regarding the assessment and provision of rehabilitation among patients with acute ischemic stroke. Aims We examined the frequency and determinants of an assessment for rehabilitation among acute ischemic stroke patients from the China National Stroke Registry II. Methods Data for 19,294 acute ischemic stroke patients admitted to 219 hospitals from June 2012 to January 2013 were analyzed. The multivariable logistic regression model with the generalized estimating equation method accounting for in-hospital clustering was used to identify patient and hospital factors associated with having a rehabilitation assessment during the acute hospitalization. Results Among 19,294 acute ischemic stroke patients, 11,451 (59.4%) were assessed for rehabilitation. Rates of rehabilitation assessment varied among 219 hospitals (IQR 41.4% vs 81.5%). In the multivariable analysis, factors associated with increased likelihood of a rehabilitation assessment ( p < 0.05) included disability prior to stroke, higher NIHSS on admission, receipt of a dysphagia screen, deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis, carotid vessel imaging, longer length of stay, and treatment at a hospital with a higher number of hospital beds (per 100 units). In contrast, patients with a history of atrial fibrillation and hospitals with higher number of annual stroke discharges (per 100 patients) were less likely to receive rehabilitation assessment during the acute stroke hospitalization. Conclusions Rehabilitation assessment among acute ischemic stroke patients was suboptimal in China. Rates varied considerably among hospitals and support the need to improve adherence to recommended care for stroke survivors.
Keywords: Acute stroke; evidence-based practice; rehabilitation; stroke care.