Age-Related Disparities in the Quality of Stroke Care and Outcomes in Rehabilitation Hospitals: The Australian National Audit

Tara Purvis, Isobel J. Hubbard, Dominique A. Cadilhac, Kelvin Hill, Justine Watkins, Natasha A. Lannin, Steven G. Faux, Monique F. Kilkenny

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Stroke affects all ages. Despite increased incidence in those <65 years, little is known about age-based differences in inpatient rehabilitation management and outcomes. Objectives: To investigate management and outcomes, comparing younger (<65 years) and older (≥65 years) patients with stroke, who received inpatient rehabilitation. Methods: Multicentre, cross-sectional study using data from Australian hospitals who participated in the Stroke Foundation national stroke rehabilitation audit (2016-2018). Chi-square tests compared characteristics and care by age. Multivariable regression models were used to compare outcomes by age (e.g. length of stay). Models were adjusted for sex, stroke type and severity factors. Results: 7,165 audited cases from 127 hospitals; 23% <65 years (66% male; 72% ischaemic stroke). When compared to older patients, younger patients were more likely male (66% vs 52%); identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (6% vs 1%); be less disabled on admission; receive psychology (46% vs 34%) input, and community reintegration support, including return to work (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.03, 2.11), sexuality (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.39, 1.84) and self-management (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.23, 1.57) advice. Following adjustment, younger patients had longer lengths of stay (coeff 3.54, 95% CI 2.27, 4.81); were more likely to be independent on discharge (aOR 1.96, 95% CI 1.68, 2.28); be discharged to previous residences (aOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.41, 1.91) and receive community rehabilitation (aOR: 2.27, 95% CI 1.91, 2.70). Conclusions: Age-related differences exist in characteristics, management and outcomes for inpatients with stroke accessing rehabilitation in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105707
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Outcomes
  • Quality of care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Younger

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