Effectiveness of a Post-Acute Rehabilitative Care Program on Swallowing Ability, Nutrition Status, and Health-related Quality of Life Among Recovering Stoke Patients

Document Type

Conference Abstract

Publication Date


Publication Title

APHA Annual Meeting and Expo 2019 Abstracts


Prior evidence showed that post-acute rehabilitative care (PARC, an insurance-covered extension of 3-to-6 week physical and occupational therapy program), could reduce re-admissions and mortality for patients discharged from an acute-care hospital after a stroke. However, few studies have examined its effectiveness on swallowing ability, nutritional status, and health-related quality of life. Data from a group of stroke patients participating in a PARC program were analyzed to evaluate if the program had beneficial effects.

Eighty-seven stabilized stroke patients (male=60.9%, mean age=66.8) hospitalized between 2014 and 2018 were recruited. The functional oral intake scale, the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), and the Euro QOL-5D were used to measure participants’ swallowing ability, nutritional status and health-related quality of life, respectively. Paired t-tests were used to analyze participant’s pre- and post-assessments to see if there were improvements before and after the PARC.

All three measures had improved significantly. The average pre-assessment scores for the functional oral intake and MNA were 5.4 and 15.9. By the end of the program, the mean score of functional oral intake and MNA had improved to 6.2 (p<.001) and 17.4 (p<.001), respectively. Their mean score of EQ-5D decreased to 7.3 from 9.1 (p<.001).

We found the PARC program improved swallowing ability, nutritional status, and health-related quality of life significantly in a group of stroke patients. Oral food intake is essential to a better nutritional status and quality of life among the patients suffering a stroke. More studies examining the concomitant benefits of PARC programs on other health outcomes are warranted.


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