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A comparison of stroke rehabilitation; data from two national cohorts

Journal article
Authors G. Berzina
A. Vetra
Katharina S Sunnerhagen
Published in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
Volume 134
Issue 4
Pages 284-291
ISSN 0001-6314
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 284-291
Language en
Keywords activities of daily living, stroke, complex interventions, length of, stay, rehabilitation, shift analysis, functional independence measure, systematic analysis, regional burden, position paper, acute settings, global burden, medicine, disease, experience, guidance
Subject categories Neurosciences


ObjectivesInpatient rehabilitation is a commonly used complex intervention to improve a person's independence after stroke. Evaluation and comparison of the effects of routine clinical practice could provide a contribution towards optimization of stroke care. The aim of this study is to describe results of inpatient rehabilitation as a complex intervention for persons after stroke and explore possible differences between two countries. MethodsData from 1055 Latvian and 1748 Swedish adult patients after stroke receiving inpatient rehabilitation, during 2011-2013, were used for this retrospective cohort study. Qualitative description of systems, as well as information on basic medical and sociodemographic information, and organizational aspects were reported. Change in the Functional Independence Measure during rehabilitation was investigated. In six domains of the instrument, the shifts for three levels of dependence were analysed using ordinal regression analysis. ResultsThe components of stroke care seem to be similar in Latvia and Sweden. However, the median time since stroke onset until the start of rehabilitation was 13 weeks in Latvia and 2 weeks in Sweden. The median length of rehabilitation was 12 and 49 days, respectively. The level of dependency at start, time since stroke onset and length of the period had an impact on the results of the rehabilitation. ConclusionsAlthough components of the rehabilitation are reported as being the same, characteristics and the outcome of the inpatient rehabilitation are different. Therefore, comparison of stroke rehabilitation between countries requires caution.

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