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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD000197.

Organised inpatient (stroke unit) care for stroke.

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1
Academic Section of Geriatric Medicine, 3rd Floor, Centre Block, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK, G4 0SF. p.langhorne@clinmed.gla.ac.uk

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Specially organised stroke units can be a ward or team that exclusively manages stroke patients (a dedicated stroke unit) or a ward or team that provides a generic disability service (a mixed assessment or rehabilitation unit).

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this review was to assess the effect of care in a stroke unit compared with conventional care of patients following a stroke.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group trials register, reference lists of articles and contacted researchers in the field.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised and quasi-randomised trials comparing organised inpatient stroke unit care with conventional care.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two reviewers independently assessed eligibility and trial quality. The principal reviewer conducted a structured interview with the coordinators of unpublished trials.

MAIN RESULTS:

Twenty trials were included. Stroke unit care showed a reduction in the odds of death recorded at final follow-up (median one year). The odds ratio was 0.83, 95% confidence interval 0.71 to 0.97. The odds of death or institutionalised care were lower (0.76, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 0.90) as were death or dependency at final review (odds ratio 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 0.87). Subgroup analyses showed that the observed benefits were independent of patient age, sex, stroke severity, and types of stroke unit organisation. There was no indication that organised stroke unit care resulted in increased hospital stay, although there was heterogeneity between the trials.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

Stroke patients who receive organised inpatient care in a stroke unit are more likely to be alive, independent, and living at home one year after the stroke. The apparent benefits are not restricted to any particular sub-group of patients or model of stroke unit care. No systematic increase was observed in the length of inpatient stay.

PMID:
10796318
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD000197
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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