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Caring. 2004 Aug;23(8):40-2; quiz 44-5.

Italian study concludes "home hospitalization" benefits stroke patients.

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Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, USA.


A randomized study in Italy recently found that uncomplicated ischemic stroke patients who were provided intensive, specialized home care services ("home hospitalization") were less depressed, more likely to remain at home post-discharge, less likely to need additional rehabilitation services, and had lower admission rates to long-term care facilities than did patients who received inpatient care in a general hospital ward. Home hospitalization was found to be at least as effective as inpatient hospital care when measured in terms of mortality and residual neurological deficits and functioning. This study illustrates the benefits of an intensive model of home care over inpatient care; its results could be applied to additional stroke patients who lack complications as well as to other differently diagnosed individuals who may achieve more positive outcomes at home. It is important to note that this study compared the effectiveness of an established home hospitalization program specializing in stroke care to the inpatient care provided on general hospital medical wards (rather than inpatient care provided by specialized stroke units).

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