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Age Ageing. 1994 May;23(3):241-5.

Cost comparison of domiciliary and hospital-based stroke rehabilitation. DOMINO Study Group.

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Department of Health Care of the Elderly, University Hospital, Nottingham.


The DOMINO study (DOMiciliary rehabilitation In NOttingham) was a randomized controlled trial comparing domiciliary and hospital-based rehabilitation for stroke patients after discharge from hospital, stratified according to the ward at hospital discharge. The outcomes of these patients have been reported previously. In this paper, we present estimates of health service costs of care. No difference in outcome had been found between the overall services, but we have found the hospital-based costs to be 27% cheaper. However, different cost-effectiveness patterns are observable when the strata are analysed. Patients from geriatric wards had been shown to be 2.4 times less likely to die or become institutionalized by 6 months if allocated to a day hospital service, although the cost of this service was 25% more than that of the domiciliary service. Patients from the Stroke Unit who had received domiciliary rehabilitation had been shown to have greater household and leisure abilities at 6 months than those treated in outpatient departments, but the domiciliary service was found to cost 2.6 times more. Patients from general medical wards had similar outcomes whether treated at home or in outpatient departments, but the cost of the latter service was 56% of the former. Some patients may be best cared for in day hospitals and others may do better if treated at home, but for these groups the clinical advantages are achieved at an expense greater than that incurred by the alternative services. Other patients may do as well if treated in outpatient departments as at home, but the former approach is cheaper. A range of services is required for stroke patients leaving hospital.

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