Utilization of long-term care after decompressive hemicraniectomy for severe stroke among older patients.

Aging clinical and experimental research

PubMedID: 27495258

Fehnel CR, Lee Y, Wendell LC, Thompson BB, Stevenson Potter N, Mor V. Utilization of long-term care after decompressive hemicraniectomy for severe stroke among older patients. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2016;.
BACKGROUND
While clinical trial data support decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) as improving survival among patients with severe ischemic stroke, quality of life outcomes among older persons remain controversial.

AIMS
To aid decision-making and understand practice variation, we measured long-term outcomes and patterns of regional variation for a nationwide cohort of ischemic stroke patients after DHC.

METHODS
Medicare fee-for-service ischemic stroke cases over age 65 during the year 2008 were used to create a cohort followed for 2 years (2009-2010) after stroke and DHC procedure. Rates of mortality, acute hospital readmission, and long-term care (LTC) utilization were calculated. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify individual predictors of institutional LTC. Regional variation in DHC was calculated through aggregation and merging with the state-level data.

RESULTS
Among 397,503 acute ischemic stroke patients, 130 (0.03 %) underwent DHC. Mean age was 72 years, and 75 % were between the ages of 65 and 74. Mortality was highest (38 %) within the first 30 days. At 2 years, 59 % of the original cohort had died. The 30-day rate of acute hospital readmission was 25 %. Among survivors, 75 % returned home 1 year after index stroke admission. States with higher per capita health expenditures were associated with wider variation in utilization of DHC.

CONCLUSIONS
There is a high rate of mortality among older stroke patients undergoing DHC. Although most survivors of DHC are not permanently institutionalized, there is wide variation in utilization of DHC across the USA.