Functional independence: A comparison of the changes during neurorehabilitation between patients with non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage or acute ischemic stroke.

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To compare the changes in functional independence measured by the FIM after specialized neurorehabilitation between patients with nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) or acute ischemic stroke (AIS).


Historical cohort study comparing changes in functional independence between patients with nontraumatic SAH and those with ICH/AIS, using FIM scores from a local database and clinical information from the Danish National Patient Registry.


Postacute specialized inpatient neurorehabilitation.


Participants (N=660) comprised patients with a first-time nontraumatic SAH (n=212) and age-matched patients with a first-time ICH/AIS (n=448).


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures

Crude and adjusted comparisons of FIM (total and item by item) measured at baseline and at discharge.


Patients with nontraumatic SAH were admitted with a lower functional level compared with patients with ICH/AIS (median total FIM score, 25 [interquartile range (IQR), 18–81] vs 78.5 [IQR, 47–107]), and discharged with a lower functional level (median total FIM score, 98 [IQR, 40–116] vs 110 [IQR, 82.5–119]), although they made more progress during neurorehabilitation (median change in total FIM score, 27 [IQR, 4–60] vs 17 [IQR, 7–35]). Statistically, patients with nontraumatic SAH had significantly better odds for obtaining functional independence than did patients with ICH/AIS in 6 of the 18 FIM items: eating (odds ratio [OR]=3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7–5.8); dressing–upper body (OR=2.0; 95% CI, 1.1–3.5); transfer tub/shower (OR=2.0; 95% CI, 1.1–3.6); stair walking (OR=2.2; 95% CI, 1.3–3.7); comprehension (OR=2.3; 95% CI, 1.3–3.9); and expression (OR=3.6; 95% CI, 2.0–6.5).


Patients with nontraumatic SAH made significantly more progress during neurorehabilitation, although they were discharged with a lower level of functional independence compared with patients with ICH/AIS. However, both patients with nontraumatic SAH and those with ICH/AIS improved their functional outcome significantly. Also, patients with nontraumatic SAH admitted with severe functional outcome were shown to be capable of recovering to a moderate level of functional independence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)759-65
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2017

    Research areas

  • Functional independence following neurorehabilitation

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