Organisational survey for acute stroke care in Vietnam

Phan, Hoang, Nguyen, Thang, Watkins, Caroline Leigh orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9403-3772, Lightbody, Catherine Elizabeth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5016-3471, Boaden, Elizabeth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4647-6392, Georgiou, Rachel, Middleton, Sandy, Dale, Simeon, Kilkenny, Monique et al (2022) Organisational survey for acute stroke care in Vietnam. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 31 (11). p. 106792.

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Objectives: Low-middle income countries, such as Vietnam have a greater burden from stroke than high-income countries. Few health professionals have stroke specialist training, and the quality of care may vary between hospitals. To support improvements to stroke care, we aimed to gain a better understanding of the resources available in hospitals in Vietnam to manage acute stroke.
Materials and Methods: The survey questions were adapted from the Australian Organisational Survey of Stroke Services (Stroke Foundation). The final 65 questions covered the topics: hospital size and admissions for stroke; use of clinical protocols and assessments conducted; team structure and coordination; communication and team roles. The survey was distributed electronically or via paper form in Vietnamese to clinical leaders of 91 eligible hospitals (November–December 2020). Data were summarised descriptively.
Results: Sixty-six (73%) hospitals responded, and doctors predominately completed the survey (98%). Approximately 70% of hospitals had a stroke unit; median 630 acute strokes/year (IQR: 250-1200) and >90% used stroke clinical protocols. The daytime nurse-patient ratio was 1:4. There was a perceived lack of access to allied health staff, including psychologists/neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. Only 50% reported having a standardised rehabilitation assessment process.
Conclusions: This is the first large-scale cross-sectional, national overview of stroke services in Vietnam. Future research should include a systematic clinical audit of stroke care to confirm aspects of the data from these hospitals. Repeating the survey in future years will enable the tracking of progress and may influence capacity building for stroke care in Vietnam.

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