SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
DE VILLIERS, Linda; BADRI, Motasim; FERREIRA, Monica and BRYER, Alan. Stroke outcomes in a socio-economically disadvantaged urban community. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2011, vol.101, n.5, pp. 345-348. ISSN 2078-5135.
AIMS: To determine survival, disability and functional outcomes of stroke patients following their discharge from an acute stroke unit in an urban community with limited rehabilitative resources. METHODS: Stroke patients were recruited from a district hospital in Cape Town and followed-up for 6 months. Clinical characteristics, demographic and socioeconomic data, and disability and function as measured by modified Rankin Score (mRS), modified Barthel Index (mBI) at recruitment and 3 follow-up visits, were recorded. RESULTS: The study included 196 patients. Median age was 60 (IQR 51 - 69) years, 135 (68.9%) were female, 57.7% black, 42.3% coloured, and 45 (23%) died within 6 months. At discharge, median mBI score was 7 (IQR 3 - 12) and median mRS 4 (IQR 3 - 5). In the multivariate regression models, only function (mBI OR 0.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79 - 0.96, p<0.0001) and disability (mRS 0R 2.34, 95%CI 1.20 - 4.54, p<0.0001) were independently associated with risk of death. Shack housing was independently associated with moderate or severe disability (odds ratio 3.42, 95%CI 1.22 - 9.59, p=0.02). Despite limited rehabilitation resources, 67% of survivors had mild to moderate disability at 6 months. CONCLUSION: Apart from initial stroke severity, risk factors for poor survival were a severe disability category and the presence of impaired swallowing at discharge. Shack housing was independently associated with poor functional outcomes. These findings should be helpful in allocating home-based care and inpatient rehabilitation resources to high-risk groups to improve outcomes.