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BMC Health Serv Res. 2007 Jun 27;7:95.

The impact of different rehabilitation strategies after major events in the elderly: the case of stroke and hip fracture in the Tuscany region.

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Agenzia Regionale di Sanità della Toscana, Firenze, Italy.



On a regional level, our aims were to describe rehabilitation patterns for elderly patients with stroke and hip fracture and to investigate mortality risk during the 6-month post acute period.


Data sources included administrative data relative to patients aged 65+ resident in Tuscany admitted in hospital for stroke or hip fracture between 2001 and 2003, traced up to 3 years before and 6 months following index admission. The study design involves computerized linkage of administrative data, and an exploratory analysis of the association between rehabilitation patterns and 6-month mortality, adjusting for clinical, demographic, and acute-related care characteristics using multivariate Cox regression.


Rehabilitation patterns vary greatly across Tuscany with considerable cost implications. Six month mortality risk for stroke patients is significantly lower among residents of Local Health Authorities where patients are more frequently rehabilitated, specifically in extra-hospital settings.


Our study, targeting two crucial conditions for elderly patients, found a high variability of rehabilitation patterns across a region, albeit coherent between the two pathologies, associated with remarkable differences in average expenditure. Differences in hazard rates for 6-month mortality after stroke at population level were also found. These results need to be confirmed and further investigated through a more robust information framework.

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