Rehabilitation in patients affected by different types of stroke. A one-year follow-up study

F. Lauretani, M. Saccavini, B. Zaccaria, M. Agosti, M. Zampolini, M. Franceschini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. Stroke is the third highest cause of death and the leading cause of chronic disability in adults in Italy. More than half of patients who survive the first month after a stroke will require specialised rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is, however, an expensive and limited resource, and its success depends on careful selection of patients. The aim of this study was to identify the functional ability at discharge and after one-year of followup in a large sample of first-time stroke patients from a rehabilitation hospital according to the stroke Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project (OCSP) criteria. Methods. A multicenter observational study was conducted among 1 023 first-time stroke patients who were admitted to 18 different Italian inpatient rehabilitation centres between February 1999 and November 2000. The study population consisted of 946 (92.4%) of the 1 023 enrolled at baseline. Each patient has been first evaluated within 72 h after admission and, on a second occasion, within 72 h before discharge. From the 722 ischemic strokes evaluated at baseline, after one-year of follow-up 76 participants died. From the survived 646 patients, we had 513 (79.0%) participants both evaluated at baseline and after one-year of follow-up. Clinical data regarding stroke type and ischemic stroke clinical syndrome, according to the Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project (OCSP) criteria; the degree of impairment, both motor (assessed by Barthel Index [BI], Motricity Index, and Trunk Control Test) and neuropsychological (assessed by the Mini Mental State Examination, and the presence of aphasia or neglect); the extent of disability, as assessed by Functional Independence Scale (FIM) and the evidence of concomitant prespecified medical complications, as well as of dysphasia and of the need of indwelling urinary catheter. Other variables were taken into account, such as the time interval between stroke onset and admission to rehabilitation ward and the length of stay. To assess stroke outcome, two different indexes were selected: the frequency of home discharge and the extent of functional recovery. Results. There were 722 (76.3%) ischemic and 224 (23.7%) hemorrhagic strokes. Among ischemic strokes, the partial anterior circulation infarct was the most frequent syndrome, accounting for the 33.2% of cases. The posterior circulation infarct syndrome was the less frequent (14.1%). Lacunar anterior circulation infarct was present for the 29.5% and finally, the total anterior circulation infarct (TACI) was present for the 23.2%. According to the OCSP criteria, the TACI syndrome received 76.1±52.9 (mean±SD) days of rehabilitation, which were statistically different from the other three types of stroke. At discharge, the BI and the FIM of patients affected by TACI was significantly lower and higher, respectively, from the other three type of stroke. However, this difference disappear after one-year of follow-up. Conclusion. The TACI subtype of stroke required higher days of rehabilitation from the other type of stroke according to the OCSP criteria. Rehabilitation program is efficacious for improving functional ability of patients affected by stroke although the program should be tailored according to the stroke type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Stroke - Rehabilitation - Rehabilitation centers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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