Variations in follow-up services after inpatient stroke rehabilitation: A multicentre study

Putman, Koen, De Wit, Liesbet, Schupp, Wilfried, Baert, Ilse, Brinkmann, Nadine, Dejaeger, Eddy, De Weerdt, Willy, Feys, Hilde, Jenni, Walter et al (2009) Variations in follow-up services after inpatient stroke rehabilitation: A multicentre study. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 41 (8). pp. 646-653. ISSN 1650-1977

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Background: Care after discharge from inpatient stroke rehabilitation units varies across Europe. The aim of this study was to compare service delivery after discharge. Methods: A total of 532 consecutive patients after stroke were recruited from 4 European rehabilitation centres in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the UK. At 2-month intervals, clinical assessments and structured interviews were carried out to document functional status and delivery of services after discharge. Significant factors for receiving follow-up services were analysed using a logistic generalized estimating equation model. Results: After controlling for case-mix, the results showed that Belgian patients were most likely to receive physical therapy but least likely to receive occupational therapy. German patients were least likely to receive nursing care. UK patients were less likely to receive medical care from their general practitioner compared with the other patient groups. Conclusion: Clinical characteristics did not explain the variations in service delivery after discharge from inpatient stroke rehabilitation. The decision-making processes involved in the provision of follow-up services need to be better documented. To improve our understanding of events post-discharge, the influence of non-clinical factors, such as healthcare regulations, should be explored further.

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