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BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of organized inpatient (stroke unit) care has been demonstrated in systematic reviews of clinical trials. However, the key components of stroke unit care are poorly understood. METHODS: We conducted a survey of recent trials (published 1985-2000) of a stroke unit/ward which had demonstrated a beneficial effect consistent with the stroke unit systematic review. RESULTS: We identified 11 eligible stroke unit trials of which the majority described similar approaches to i) assessment procedures (medical, nursing and therapy assessments), ii) early management policies (e.g. early mobilization; avoidance of urinary catheterization; treatment of hypoxia, hyperglycaemia and suspected infection), iii) ongoing rehabilitation policies (e.g. co-ordinated multidisciplinary team care, early assessment for discharge). CONCLUSIONS: This survey provides a description of stroke unit care which can serve as a benchmark for general stroke patient care and future clinical research.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Age Ageing

Publication Date

09/2002

Volume

31

Pages

365 - 371

Keywords

Benchmarking, Efficiency, Organizational, Health Care Surveys, Hospital Units, Humans, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Stroke, Stroke Rehabilitation