Importance: Occupational therapy in the neurological critical care unit (NCCU) may enable safe community discharge by restoring functional ability. However, the influence of patient characteristics and NCCU occupational therapy on discharge disposition is largely unknown.
Objective: To examine how patient factors and receipt of occupational therapy predict discharge disposition for NCCU patients.
Design: Retrospective cross-sectional cohort study of electronic health records data from adults admitted to the NCCU between May 2013 and September 30, 2015.
Setting: NCCU in a large urban academic hospital.
Participants: Adults age 18 yr or older (N = 1,134) admitted to the NCCU.
Outcomes and Measures: Using logistic regression with discharge disposition as the dependent variable, we entered sex, age, length of stay (LOS), baseline Glasgow Coma Scale score, Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, and receipt of occupational therapy services as predictor variables.
Results: Of NCCU patients, 39% received occupational therapy. Younger age, shorter LOS, lower comorbidity burden, and not receiving occupational therapy services increased the likelihood of discharge to the community. Men who received occupational therapy were less likely to be discharged to the community than men who did not receive occupational therapy. As age increased, differences in the probability of community discharge decreased between recipients and nonrecipients of occupational therapy services.
Conclusions and Relevance: Our results suggest that patients receiving occupational therapy services in the NCCU may have a lower likelihood of community discharge. However, these findings may result from therapist's consideration of the safest discharge location to ensure the greatest balance between independence and support.
What This Article Adds: This study's findings suggest that receipt of occupational therapy in the NCCU is associated with higher likelihood for noncommunity discharge (i.e., to inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing, or long-term care). However, activity limitations and comorbidity burden may be greater for recipients of occupational therapy, and these NCCU patients are presumably less prepared for community discharge.