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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Geriatric rehabilitation of stroke patients in nursing homes: a study protocol

Monica Spruit-van Eijk12*, Bianca I Buijck13, Sytse U Zuidema1, Frans LM Voncken3, Alexander CH Geurts4 and Raymond TCM Koopmans1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Primary and Community Care, Centre for Family Medicine, Geriatric Care and Public Health, Radboud University Nijmegen- Medical Centre, Geert Grooteplein 21 Nijmegen 6525 EZ, the Netherlands

2 SVRZ, Koudekerkseweg 143, Middelburg 4335 SM, the Netherlands

3 De Zorgboog, Roessel 3, Bakel 5761 RP, the Netherlands

4 Department of Rehabilitation, Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Radboud University Nijmegen- Medical Centre, Geert Grooteplein 21, Nijmegen 6525 EZ, the Netherlands

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BMC Geriatrics 2010, 10:15  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-15

Published: 27 March 2010



Geriatric patients are typically underrepresented in studies on the functional outcome of rehabilitation after stroke. Moreover, most geriatric stroke patients do probably not participate in intensive rehabilitation programs as offered by rehabilitation centers. As a result, very few studies have described the successfulness of geriatric stroke rehabilitation in nursing home patients, although it appears that the majority of these patients are being discharged back to the community, rather than being transferred to residential care. Nevertheless, factors associated with the successfulness of stroke rehabilitation in nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities are largely unknown. The primary goal of this study is, therefore, to assess the factors that uniquely contribute to the successfulness of rehabilitation in geriatric stroke patients that undergo rehabilitation in nursing homes. A secondary goal is to investigate whether these factors are similar to those associated with the outcome of stroke rehabilitation in the literature.


This study is part of the Geriatric Rehabilitation in AMPutation and Stroke (GRAMPS) study in the Netherlands. It is a longitudinal, observational, multicenter study in 15 nursing homes in the Southern part of the Netherlands that aims to include at least 200 patients. All participating nursing homes are selected based on the existence of a specialized rehabilitation unit and the provision of dedicated multidisciplinary care. Patient characteristics, disease characteristics, functional status, cognition, behavior, and caregiver information, are collected within two weeks after admission to the nursing home. The first follow-up is at discharge from the nursing home or one year after inclusion, and focuses on functional status and behavior. Successful rehabilitation is defined as discharge from the nursing home to an independent living situation within one year after admission. The second follow-up is three months after discharge in patients who rehabilitated successfully, and assesses functional status, behavior, and quality of life. All instruments used in this study have shown to be valid and reliable in rehabilitation research or are recommended by the Netherlands Heart Foundation guidelines for stroke rehabilitation.

Data will be analyzed using SPSS 16.0. Besides descriptive analyses, both univariate and multivariate analyses will be performed with the purpose of identifying associated factors as well as their unique contribution to determining successful rehabilitation.


This study will provide more information about geriatric stroke rehabilitation in Dutch nursing homes. To our knowledge, this is the first large study that focuses on the determinants of success of geriatric stroke rehabilitation in nursing home patients.