Inpatient stroke rehabilitation: Prediction of clinical outcomes using a machine-learning approach

Yaar Harari, Yaar Harari, Megan K. O'Brien, Megan K. O'Brien, Richard L. Lieber, Richard L. Lieber, Richard L. Lieber, Arun Jayaraman, Arun Jayaraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In clinical practice, therapists often rely on clinical outcome measures to quantify a patient's impairment and function. Predicting a patient's discharge outcome using baseline clinical information may help clinicians design more targeted treatment strategies and better anticipate the patient's assistive needs and discharge care plan. The objective of this study was to develop predictive models for four standardized clinical outcome measures (Functional Independence Measure, Ten-Meter Walk Test, Six-Minute Walk Test, Berg Balance Scale) during inpatient rehabilitation. Methods: Fifty stroke survivors admitted to a United States inpatient rehabilitation hospital participated in this study. Predictors chosen for the clinical discharge scores included demographics, stroke characteristics, and scores of clinical tests at admission. We used the Pearson product-moment and Spearman's rank correlation coefficients to calculate correlations among clinical outcome measures and predictors, a cross-validated Lasso regression to develop predictive equations for discharge scores of each clinical outcome measure, and a Random Forest based permutation analysis to compare the relative importance of the predictors. Results: The predictive equations explained 70-77% of the variance in discharge scores and resulted in a normalized error of 13-15% for predicting the outcomes of new patients. The most important predictors were clinical test scores at admission. Additional variables that affected the discharge score of at least one clinical outcome were time from stroke onset to rehabilitation admission, age, sex, body mass index, race, and diagnosis of dysphasia or speech impairment. Conclusions: The models presented in this study could help clinicians and researchers to predict the discharge scores of clinical outcomes for individuals enrolled in an inpatient stroke rehabilitation program that adheres to U.S. Medicare standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
JournalJournal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Balance
  • Functional Independence measure
  • Gait
  • Lasso regression
  • Physical therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics

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