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Concept: Rehabilitation medicine


Background Whether rapid lowering of elevated blood pressure would improve the outcome in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage is not known. Methods We randomly assigned 2839 patients who had had a spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage within the previous 6 hours and who had elevated systolic blood pressure to receive intensive treatment to lower their blood pressure (with a target systolic level of <140 mm Hg within 1 hour) or guideline-recommended treatment (with a target systolic level of <180 mm Hg) with the use of agents of the physician's choosing. The primary outcome was death or major disability, which was defined as a score of 3 to 6 on the modified Rankin scale (in which a score of 0 indicates no symptoms, a score of 5 indicates severe disability, and a score of 6 indicates death) at 90 days. A prespecified ordinal analysis of the modified Rankin score was also performed. The rate of serious adverse events was compared between the two groups. Results Among the 2794 participants for whom the primary outcome could be determined, 719 of 1382 participants (52.0%) receiving intensive treatment, as compared with 785 of 1412 (55.6%) receiving guideline-recommended treatment, had a primary outcome event (odds ratio with intensive treatment, 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 1.01; P=0.06). The ordinal analysis showed significantly lower modified Rankin scores with intensive treatment (odds ratio for greater disability, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77 to 1.00; P=0.04). Mortality was 11.9% in the group receiving intensive treatment and 12.0% in the group receiving guideline-recommended treatment. Nonfatal serious adverse events occurred in 23.3% and 23.6% of the patients in the two groups, respectively. Conclusions In patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, intensive lowering of blood pressure did not result in a significant reduction in the rate of the primary outcome of death or severe disability. An ordinal analysis of modified Rankin scores indicated improved functional outcomes with intensive lowering of blood pressure. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; INTERACT2 number, NCT00716079 .).

Concepts: Hypertension, Blood pressure, Modified Rankin Scale, Cerebral hemorrhage, Disability, Orthostatic hypotension, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine


Background Endovascular therapy is increasingly used after the administration of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) for patients with moderate-to-severe acute ischemic stroke, but whether a combined approach is more effective than intravenous t-PA alone is uncertain. Methods We randomly assigned eligible patients who had received intravenous t-PA within 3 hours after symptom onset to receive additional endovascular therapy or intravenous t-PA alone, in a 2:1 ratio. The primary outcome measure was a modified Rankin scale score of 2 or less (indicating functional independence) at 90 days (scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating greater disability). Results The study was stopped early because of futility after 656 participants had undergone randomization (434 patients to endovascular therapy and 222 to intravenous t-PA alone). The proportion of participants with a modified Rankin score of 2 or less at 90 days did not differ significantly according to treatment (40.8% with endovascular therapy and 38.7% with intravenous t-PA; absolute adjusted difference, 1.5 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -6.1 to 9.1, with adjustment for the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score [8-19, indicating moderately severe stroke, or ≥20, indicating severe stroke]), nor were there significant differences for the predefined subgroups of patients with an NIHSS score of 20 or higher (6.8 percentage points; 95% CI, -4.4 to 18.1) and those with a score of 19 or lower (-1.0 percentage point; 95% CI, -10.8 to 8.8). Findings in the endovascular-therapy and intravenous t-PA groups were similar for mortality at 90 days (19.1% and 21.6%, respectively; P=0.52) and the proportion of patients with symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage within 30 hours after initiation of t-PA (6.2% and 5.9%, respectively; P=0.83). Conclusions The trial showed similar safety outcomes and no significant difference in functional independence with endovascular therapy after intravenous t-PA, as compared with intravenous t-PA alone. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; number, NCT00359424 .).

Concepts: Stroke, Modified Rankin Scale, Disability, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine


BACKGROUND: Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in China. Current treatments for stroke are limited and achieve no optimal effect. Acupuncture is widely used in the treatment of stroke and in improving the quality of life for patients in China. In most previous clinical studies, the effects of acupuncture have been diverse, and few well-designed randomized controlled trials have been conducted to investigate the long-term effect of acupuncture on acute stroke recovery. METHOD: Three hundred and twenty eight subjects with acute cerebral apoplexy will be recruited. The patients will be randomized into two different groups: the intervention group will receive acupuncture treatment together with Western standard treatment for 2 weeks plus the secondary prevention treatment for 22 weeks; the control group will receive only the Western standard treatment for 2 weeks and the secondary prevention treatment for 22 weeks. The primary outcome measures are Barthel Index and the Stroke-Specific Quality Of Life. The secondary outcome measures are the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and Modified Rankin Scale. All assessments will be conducted at the baseline and at weeks 4, 12 and 24 of follow-up. DISCUSSION: This study will evaluate the effects of acupuncture on the long-term recovery of acute stroke and on improving the quality of life of the patients. The results of this study will help establish optimal integrated therapeutic strategies for patients with stroke.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN29932220.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Modified Rankin Scale, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine


Background Post-stroke cognitive impairment is common and a decisive prognostic factor. However, few studies have reported on post-stroke cognition in young adults, especially long-term cognition. This study was designed to investigate the influence of baseline factors, treatments, and functional outcome on the long-term cognitive outcome in young adults with ischemic stroke. Material and Methods Consecutive patients aged 18-45 years between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010, with a first-ever ischemic stroke, were recruited for cognitive assessment by telephone from December 10 to December 31, 2013 using modified versions of “Telephone Instrument for Cognitive Status” (TICS-m) scale. The relationship of cognitive impairment with baseline factors, treatments, and functional outcome were evaluated. Results A total of 350 patients with an average age of 41.0±6.8 years (69.7% males and 30.3% females) were reviewed. The average follow-up period was 5.8±3.2 years, and cognitive impairment existed in 39.4% of patients at follow-up. Stroke severity on admission, functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale, mRS >2) at discharge, left anterior circulation syndrome, and stroke recurrence were markedly associated with post-stroke cognitive impairment (all P<0.01). Post-stroke cognition was also significantly related to mRS at follow-up (r=-0.563, P<0.001). Conclusions Post-stroke cognition was related to functional outcome: hence, treatment directed toward reducing functional disability might also reduce cognitive impairment.

Concepts: Stroke, Modified Rankin Scale, Educational psychology, Disability, Reasoning, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine, Young adult


The study objective was to obtain consensus on physical therapy (PT) in the rehabilitation of critical illness survivors after hospital discharge. Research questions were: what are PT goals, what are recommended measurement tools, and what constitutes an optimal PT intervention for survivors of critical illness?

Concepts: Therapy, Physical therapy, Rehabilitation medicine, Healthcare occupations


Background Thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke with a lower-than-standard dose of intravenous alteplase may improve recovery along with a reduced risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. Methods Using a 2-by-2 quasi-factorial open-label design, we randomly assigned 3310 patients who were eligible for thrombolytic therapy (median age, 67 years; 63% Asian) to low-dose intravenous alteplase (0.6 mg per kilogram of body weight) or the standard dose (0.9 mg per kilogram); patients underwent randomization within 4.5 hours after the onset of stroke. The primary objective was to determine whether the low dose would be noninferior to the standard dose with respect to the primary outcome of death or disability at 90 days, which was defined by scores of 2 to 6 on the modified Rankin scale (range, 0 [no symptoms] to 6 [death]). Secondary objectives were to determine whether the low dose would be superior to the standard dose with respect to centrally adjudicated symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage and whether the low dose would be noninferior in an ordinal analysis of modified Rankin scale scores (testing for an improvement in the distribution of scores). The trial included 935 patients who were also randomly assigned to intensive or guideline-recommended blood-pressure control. Results The primary outcome occurred in 855 of 1607 participants (53.2%) in the low-dose group and in 817 of 1599 participants (51.1%) in the standard-dose group (odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.25; the upper boundary exceeded the noninferiority margin of 1.14; P=0.51 for noninferiority). Low-dose alteplase was noninferior in the ordinal analysis of modified Rankin scale scores (unadjusted common odds ratio, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.13; P=0.04 for noninferiority). Major symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage occurred in 1.0% of the participants in the low-dose group and in 2.1% of the participants in the standard-dose group (P=0.01); fatal events occurred within 7 days in 0.5% and 1.5%, respectively (P=0.01). Mortality at 90 days did not differ significantly between the two groups (8.5% and 10.3%, respectively; P=0.07). Conclusions This trial involving predominantly Asian patients with acute ischemic stroke did not show the noninferiority of low-dose alteplase to standard-dose alteplase with respect to death and disability at 90 days. There were significantly fewer symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhages with low-dose alteplase. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others; ENCHANTED number, NCT01422616 .).

Concepts: Stroke, Modified Rankin Scale, Cerebral hemorrhage, Disability, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine


Among people receiving inpatient rehabilitation after stroke, does additional weekend physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy reduce the length of rehabilitation hospital stay compared to those who receive a weekday-only service, and does this change after controlling for individual factors? Does additional weekend therapy improve the ability to walk and perform activities of daily living, measured at discharge? Does additional weekend therapy improve health-related quality of life, measured 6 months after discharge from rehabilitation? Which individual, clinical and hospital characteristics are associated with shorter length of rehabilitation hospital stay?

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Hospital, Therapy, Units of measurement, Rehabilitation medicine, Occupational therapy


Does adding video/computer-based interactive exercises to inpatient geriatric and neurological rehabilitation improve mobility outcomes? Is it feasible and safe?

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Rehabilitation medicine, Rehabilitation


This study is the first to evaluate the existence and quality of patient-related cancer rehabilitation content on the websites of National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Centers. In 2016, a team of cancer rehabilitation physicians (physiatrists) conducted an analysis of the patient-related rehabilitation content on the websites of all NCI-Designated Cancer Centers that provide clinical care (N = 62 of 69). The main outcome measures included qualitative rating of the ease of locating descriptions of cancer rehabilitation services on each website, followed by quantitative rating of the quality of the cancer rehabilitation descriptions found. More than 90% of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers providing clinical care did not have an easily identifiable patient-focused description of or link to cancer rehabilitation services on their website. Use of a website’s search box and predetermined terms yielded an additional 13 descriptions (21%). Therefore, designers of nearly 70% of the websites evaluated overlooked an opportunity to present a description of cancer rehabilitation services. Moreover, only 8% of the websites included accurate and detailed information that referenced four core rehabilitation services (physiatry and physical, occupational and speech therapy). Further research is needed to confirm the presence of cancer rehabilitation services and evaluate access to these types of services at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers providing clinical care.

Concepts: National Cancer Institute, World Wide Web, Website, Rehabilitation medicine, Description, NCI-designated Cancer Center


Most early mobility studies focus on patients on mechanical ventilation and the role of physical and occupational therapy. This Performance Improvement Project (PIP) project examined early mobility and increased intensity of therapy services on ICU patients with and without mechanical ventilation. In addition, Speech-Language Pathology rehabilitation was added to the early mobilization program.

Concepts: Medicine, Hospital, Intensive care medicine, Therapy, Physician, Medical school, Rehabilitation medicine, Occupational therapy