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Disabil Rehabil. 2004 Feb 18;26(4):191-7.

Prognostic social factors in the subacute phase after a stroke for the discharge destination from the hospital stroke-unit. A systematic review of the literature.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



The objective of our study was to identify prognostic social factors in the subacute phase after stroke for the discharge destination from the hospital stroke-unit.


A systematic literature search was performed, designed in accordance with the Cochrane Collaboration criteria. Internal, statistical and external validity of the studies were assessed using a checklist with 11 methodological criteria.


Characteristics of the social situation that proved to be important for prediction of the discharge destination are marital status and social support. Quantity and methodological quality of the research studies were insufficient, and the number of possible social prognostic factors investigated was limited by the absence of a conceptual framework of social subdomains in the studies, including an unambiguous definition of the prognostic social factors within these subdomains.


A great need exists for research into the prognostic qualities of the following social factors: the ability to provide support, presence, and readiness of the homefront; the availability of professional care, personal financial means, membership of societies and clubs, frequency of contacts with close relatives and friends; the quality of the patient's residence with regard to the adaptation to the needs and abilities of the patient. A commitment about the aforementioned conceptual framework is mandatory.

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