Patient Factors Associated With Attendance at a Comprehensive Postacute Stroke Visit: Insight From the Vanguard Site

Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl. 2019 Dec 21;2(1):100037. doi: 10.1016/j.arrct.2019.100037. eCollection 2020 Mar.


Objective: To understand the patient-influenced activities and characteristics associated with return to a single postacute care transitional care clinic visit in a cohort of patients cared for at the test health system site of the larger Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services (COMPASS) cluster randomized trial.

Design: Retrospective cohort.

Setting: A large health system.

Participants: Patients discharged directly home between June 2016 and June 2018 after sustaining a stroke who did not receive formal inpatient rehabilitation services while being cared for in a single comprehensive stroke center, defined as a center that meet standards to rapidly diagnose and treat the most complex stroke cases.

Interventions: Study participants had the opportunity to participate in a (1) 2-day call, (2) comprehensive care transitions clinic visit, and (3) individualized care plan.

Main outcome measures: Patient participation in a single postacute care comprehensive care transitions visit, ideally completed within 7-14 calendar days post discharge vs not attending this visit. Care transition visits are where the responsibility for preventive care, other services, and posthospital follow-up are transitioned to outpatient providers.

Results: Among 1300 eligible patients (mean age 64.8 years; 45% female; 25.4% nonwhite; 9.7% uninsured), 95.7% had follow-up clinic visits scheduled before discharge, 22.6% received home health referrals before discharge, 60.2% completed the 2-day call, and 63.2% attended the COMPASS visit. Among attendees, 33.2% attended by day 14, 71.3% attended within 30 days, and 28.7% attended after day 30. The median driving distance to the COMPASS visit was 45.9 miles or 73.9 km. Odds of visit attendance were higher if COMPASS 2-day follow up calls were completed, if follow-up clinic appointments were scheduled before discharge, if the patient had a primary care provider, and if the patients experienced a stroke vs a transient ischemic attack. Additionally, when we used the number of referrals at hospital discharge for different types of outpatient therapy as a surrogate marker of poststroke impairment, patients having no therapy referrals (milder to no impairments) had lower odds of attending the COMPASS visit than those with 1 therapy referral. Likewise, those with more than 1 referral were also less likely to attend the COMPASS visit.

Conclusions: This analysis highlights that scheduling visits at discharge and completing timely telephone follow-up shortly after discharge may lead to greater adherence to in-person clinic follow-up after stroke.

Keywords: COMPASS, Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services; ED, emergency department; NIHSS, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale; Outcome assessment, health care; PCP, primary care provider; Patient transfer; Rehabilitation; Subacute care; TIA, transient ischemic attack; US, United States.