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Open Access Research article

Association between mental health conditions and rehospitalization, mortality, and functional outcomes in patients with stroke following inpatient rehabilitation

Almas Dossa12*, Mark E Glickman12 and Dan Berlowitz12

  • * Corresponding author: Almas Dossa adossa@bu.edu

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research, ENRM VA Hospital, Bedford, MA, USA

2 Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

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BMC Health Services Research 2011, 11:311  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-311

Published: 15 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Limited evidence exists regarding the association of pre-existing mental health conditions in patients with stroke and stroke outcomes such as rehospitalization, mortality, and function. We examined the association between mental health conditions and rehospitalization, mortality, and functional outcomes in patients with stroke following inpatient rehabilitation.

Methods

Our observational study used the 2001 VA Integrated Stroke Outcomes database of 2162 patients with stroke who underwent rehabilitation at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Separate models were fit to our outcome measures that included 6-month rehospitalization or death, 6-month mortality post-discharge, and functional outcomes post inpatient rehabilitation as a function of number and type of mental health conditions. The models controlled for patient socio-demographics, length of stay, functional status, and rehabilitation setting.

Results

Patients had an average age of 68 years. Patients with stroke and two or more mental health conditions were more likely to be readmitted or die compared to patients with no conditions (OR: 1.44, p = 0.04). Depression and anxiety were associated with a greater likelihood of rehospitalization or death (OR: 1.33, p = 0.04; OR:1.47, p = 0.03). Patients with anxiety were more likely to die at six months (OR: 2.49, p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Patients with stroke with pre-existing mental health conditions may need additional psychotherapy interventions, which may potentially improve stroke outcomes post-hospitalization.