METHODS: A total 98 in-hospital first ever acute stroke patients were recruited, and their Barthel Index scores were measured at the time of discharge, at 1 month and 3 months post-discharge. The Barthel Index was scored through telephone interviews. We employed the random intercept model from linear mixed effect regression to model the change of Barthel Index scores during the three months intervals. The prognostic factors included in the model were acute stroke subtypes, age, sex and time of measurement (at discharge, at 1 month and at 3 month post-discharge).
RESULTS: The crude mean Barthel Index scores showed an increased trend. The crude mean Barthel Index at the time of discharge, at 1-month post-discharge and 3 months post-discharge were 35.1 (SD = 39.4), 64.4 (SD = 39.5) and 68.8 (SD = 38.9) respectively. Over the same period, the adjusted mean Barthel Index scores estimated from the linear mixed effect model increased from 39.6 to 66.9 to 73.2. The adjusted mean Barthel Index scores decreased as the age increased, and haemorrhagic stroke patients had lower adjusted mean Barthel Index scores compared to the ischaemic stroke patients.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the crude and adjusted mean Barthel Index scores increase from the time of discharge up to 3-month post-discharge among acute stroke patients. Time after discharge, age and stroke subtypes are the significant prognostic factors for Barthel Index score changes over the period of 3 months.