The aim of the study was to compare outcomes of inpatient rehabilitation after ventricular assist device placement with outcomes for other cardiac diagnoses.
This was a retrospective review of the electronic health records of 265 patients admitted to inpatient rehabilitation: 166 patients were admitted after ventricular assist device placement and 99 were admitted for other cardiac disease. Data collected included functional independence measure score on admission and discharge, dates of admission and discharge, and disposition.
Patients admitted after ventricular assist device placement had a mean functional independence measure gain of 25.7 and length of stay of 8.7 days. Patients admitted for other cardiac diagnoses had a mean functional independence measure gain of 25.9 and length of stay of 9.4 days. These differences were not statistically significant. Change in functional independence measure from admission to discharge was statistically significant within each group (P < 0.001). Most patients were discharged home, and the proportions who returned to acute care or home were not different between groups.
Both the ventricular assist device and nonventricular assist device groups had significant and equivalent improvements in functional outcomes after inpatient rehabilitation. This study found that ventricular assist device patients benefit from inpatient rehabilitation with similar disposition rates as patients with other cardiac diagnoses. Inpatient rehabilitation is the appropriate setting for this group.
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Upon completion of this article, the reader should be able to: (1) Describe the role of rehabilitation in the care of individuals after ventricular assist device (VAD) placement; (2) Compare the outcomes of inpatient rehabilitation for individuals after VAD placement to those admitted for other cardiac reasons; and (3) Recognize potential complications that may occur during the course of a VAD patient’s inpatient rehabilitation stay.
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