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Br J Gen Pract. Dec 1997; 47(425): 787–793.
PMCID: PMC1410073

Stroke services in general practice--are they satisfactory?

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The contribution of general practice and primary care teams to stroke care has received surprisingly little attention despite research evidence on the importance of coordinated care. AIM: To determine general practitioners' (GPs') and their patients' satisfaction with hospital and community services for stroke patients in Grampian Region, Scotland. METHOD: A questionnaire survey of 138 stroke patients and their GPs was carried out six weeks after each patient was discharged home between June 1995 and January 1996. Outcomes measured were GP and patient satisfaction with services, Barthel Index, Hospital Anxiety and Depression scores, London Handicap Score, and Homsat and Hospsat scores (satisfaction with stroke services). RESULTS: Response rates of 95% (131) for GPs and 91% (125) for patients were obtained. GPs and patients were generally satisfied with services. Stroke patients were more likely to have had contact with their GP than with any other service. Adverse comments from GPs focused on problems with hospital discharge letters. At six weeks, patients received an average of 2.5 community services and 1.5 hospital services, but there was wide variation across disability groups. CONCLUSIONS: Levels of satisfaction were high, but the wide range and variation in services used by patients emphasized the complexity of the primary care of stroke patients; the need for coordination, review and effective links with hospital; and the key role of the GP.

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