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Stroke. 2000 May;31(5):1038-45.

Can readmission after stroke be prevented? Results of a randomized clinical study: a postdischarge follow-up service for stroke survivors.

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  • 1Center for Elder Research, University Hospital H:S Bispebjerg, Copenhagen, Denmark.



About 50% of stroke survivors are discharged to their homes with lasting disability. Knowledge, however, of the importance of follow-up services that targets these patients is sparse. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate 2 models of follow-up intervention after discharge. The study hypothesis was that intervention could reduce readmission rates and institutionalization and prevent functional decline. We report the results regarding readmission.


This randomized study included 155 stroke patients with persistent impairment and disability who, after the completion of inpatient rehabilitation, were discharged to their homes. The patients were randomized to 1 of 2 follow-up interventions provided in addition to standard care or to standard aftercare. Fifty-four received follow-up home visits by a physician (INT1-HVP), 53 were provided instructions by a physiotherapist in their home (INT2-PI), and 48 received standard aftercare only (controls). Baseline characteristics for the 3 groups were comparable. Six months after discharge, data were obtained on readmission and institutionalization.


The readmission rates within 6 months after discharge were significantly lower in the intervention groups than in the control group (INT1-HVP 26%, INT2-PI 34%, controls 44%; P=0.028). Multivariate analysis of readmission risk showed a significant favorable effect of intervention (INT1-HVP or INT2-PI) in interaction with length of hospital stay (P=0.0332), indicating that the effect of intervention was strongest for patients with a prolonged inpatient rehabilitation.


Readmission is common among disabled stroke survivors. Follow-up intervention after discharge seems to be a way of preventing readmission, especially for patients with long inpatient rehabilitation.

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