Does anticholinergics drug burden relate to global neuro-disability outcome measures and length of hospital stay?

M. Sakel*, A. Boukouvalas, R. Buono, M. Moten, F. Mirza, W.-Y. Chan, I. Maidment, J. Cross, T.O. Smith, P.K. Myint, C. Fox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary objective: To assess the relationship between disability, length of stay (LOS) and anticholinergic burden (ACB) with people following acquired brain or spinal cord injury.

Research design: A retrospective case note review assessed total rehabilitation unit admission.

Methods and procedures: Assessment of 52 consecutive patients with acquired brain/spinal injury and neuropathy in an in-patient neuro-rehabilitation unit of a UK university hospital. Data analysed included: Northwick Park Dependency Score (NPDS), Rehabilitation complexity Scale (RCS), Functional Independence Measure and Functional Assessment Measure FIM-FAM (UK version 2.2), LOS and ACB. Outcome was different in RCS, NPDS and FIM-FAM between admission and discharge.

Main outcomes and results: A positive change was reported in ACB results in a positive change in NPDS, with no significant effect on FIM-FAM, either Motor or Cognitive, or on the RCS. Change in ACB correlated to the length of hospital stay (regression correlation = −6.64; SE = 3.89). There was a significant harmful impact of increase in ACB score during hospital stay, from low to high ACB on NPDS (OR = 9.65; 95% CI = 1.36–68.64) and FIM-FAM Total scores (OR = 0.03; 95% CI = 0.002–0.35).

Conclusions: There was a statistically significant correlation of ACB and neuro-disability measures and LOS amongst this patient cohort.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1430
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number12
Early online date5 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • adverse event
  • Anticholingeric
  • function
  • length of stay
  • rehabilitation unit
  • spinal cord
  • traumatic brain injury


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