Background — Low socioeconomic status is associated with increased risk of stroke and worse poststroke functional status. The aim of this study was to determine whether socioeconomic status, as measured by material deprivation, is associated with direct discharge to long-term care or length of stay after inpatient stroke rehabilitation.
Methods — We performed a retrospective, population-based cohort study of people admitted to inpatient rehabilitation in Ontario, Canada, after stroke. Community-dwelling adults (aged 19-100 yr) discharged from acute care with a most responsible diagnosis of stroke between Sept. 1, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2017, and subsequently admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation bed were included. We used a multivariable logistic regression model to examine the association between material deprivation quintile (from the Ontario Marginalization Index) and discharge to long-term care, and a multivariable negative binomial regression model to examine the association between material deprivation quintile and rehabilitation length of stay.
Results — A total of 18 736 people were included. There was no association between material deprivation and direct discharge to long-term care (most v. least deprived: odds ratio [OR] 1.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.89-1.28); however, people living in the most deprived areas had a mean length of stay 1.7 days longer than that of people in the least deprived areas (p = 0.004). This difference was not significant after adjustment for other baseline differences (relative change in mean 1.02, 95% CI 0.99-1.04).
Interpretation — People admitted to inpatient stroke rehabilitation in Ontario had similar discharge destinations and lengths of stay regardless of their socioeconomic status. In future studies, investigators should consider further examining the associations of material deprivation with upstream factors as well as potential mitigation strategies.
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