Racial differences in the utilization of inpatient rehabilitation services among elderly stroke patients

Ronnie D. Horner, Helen Hoenig, Richard Sloane, Lisa V. Rubenstein, Katherine L. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: We undertook this study to ascertain whether elderly black and white patients who are hospitalized for stroke utilize inpatient physical and occupational therapy (PT/OT) services differently, adjusting for characteristics associated with use of these services. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed medical records regarding the care received by a nationally representative sample of 2497 black and white Medicare patients, aged 65 years or older, who were hospitalized at any of 297 acute-care hospitals located in 30 communities within five states. Results: Compared with whiles, black stroke patients were younger and more likely to have Medicaid coverage, have an ischemic stroke, and have a motor deficit noted at the time of admission. There was no difference in either sex or level of consciousness on admission. Overall, a larger proportion of black stroke patients used inpatient PT/OT at some point during the hospitalization (66.3% versus 55.8%; P<.01). However, after adjustment for characteristics associated with use of PT/OT, there was no racial difference in either the likelihood of inpatient PT/OT use (adjusted relative risk, 1.06; 95% confidence limits, 0.89 to 1.27; P=.42) or time to initial contact (median: blacks, 6.6 days; whites. 7.4 days; P=.42). Adjusted analyses also indicated a similarity between the racial groups in the number of inpatient PT/OT days overall or as a proportion of the hospital stay. Conclusions: Elderly black and white stroke patients who have Medicare coverage have similar patterns of use of inpatient PT/OT services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • blacks
  • elderly
  • racial differences
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial differences in the utilization of inpatient rehabilitation services among elderly stroke patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this