The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of different combinations of interventions in patients with stroke at the convalescence stage based on the electronic health records (EHRs) by using the Markov decision process (MDP) theory and explore the feasibility of the Markov model in the real-world study (RWS).
Screening was conducted for patients with stroke at the convalescence stage who were admitted to the Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University from January 2012 to January 2017 based on the EHRs. The relevant clinical data were extracted, and the appropriate conversion was made (state-action-reward) according to the Markov model. The transformed data were analysed and solved by the MDP to obtain the best interventions for patients with various stroke recovery periods.
926 patients with stroke at the convalescence stage were initially selected. And according to the inclusion exclusion criteria, 854 patients were screened. Through the MDP, we obtained the following results: (1)when the patients with stroke at the convalescence stage have a medical history, but no complications, and mild neurological impairment, ≥66-year- and 18-45-year-old patients are advised to choose acupuncture treatment. 46-65-year-old patients are advised to choose rehabilitation treatment. When patients with moderate to severe neurological impairment, patients are advised to choose rehabilitation, Chinese herbal decoction, and acupuncture combined therapy. (2) Without complications or medical history, patients who are ≥ 66 years old are recommended to choose rehabilitation treatment when the nerve function impairment is mild; rehabilitation and acupuncture treatment are recommended when moderate and severe injuries are caused. (3) The combination of rehabilitation, Chinese herbal decoction, and acupuncture treatment is recommended for patients with phlegm and blood stasis. Acupuncture treatment is recommended for patients with mild impairment of nerve function in qi deficiency and blood stasis type. Rehabilitation, Chinese herbal decoction, and acupuncture treatment are recommended for moderate-severe injuries.
The MDP makes it possible to study the effectiveness of various treatment methods in stroke patients who are at the convalescence stage. Further exploratory studies using MDP theory in other areas in which complex interventions are common would be worthwhile.
Copyright © 2020 Yejing Shen et al.