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Determinants of Discharge Destination for Stroke Patients


  • Barbara J. Lutz PhD RN CRRN

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Barbara J. Lutz, PhD RN CRRN, is an assistant professor at the University of Florida, College of Nursing in Gainesville, FL.

University of Florida, College of Nursing, P.O. Box 100197, Gainesville, FL 32610-0197, or e-mail


Discharge to community is an important outcome measure for rehabilitation facilities. Studies consistently find that stroke patients with higher scores on the Functional Independence Measure™ (FIM) are more likely to be discharged to the community. Other variables, including age, gender, and living status, also have shown a relationship to discharge destination for stroke patients. This study explored the differences between stroke patients who were discharged to the community and those who were discharged to a nursing home after a stay on an acute inpatient rehabilitation unit. Results indicated that older patients and those with lower admission FIM scores are more likely to be discharged to nursing homes, but many patients who fit this profile are discharged to the community. The main destination determinant was how well a patient's need for care matched informal caregiving resources. These findings indicate a need for additional focused assessment of available care giving resources.