A non-intensive stroke unit reduces functional disability and the need for long-term hospitalization.
In a prospective controlled trial we compared the clinical outcome for unselected acute stroke patients in a non-intensive stroke unit (n = 110) and in general medical wards (n = 183). The patients were comparable in age, marital state and functional impairment on admission. Case fatality rates over the first year after the stroke were similar in the two groups. By three months after the stroke, 15% of the survivors initially admitted to the stroke unit and 39% of those admitted to general medical wards remained hospitalized (p less than 0.001). The corresponding figures by one year after the cerebrovascular accident were 12% and 28%, respectively (p less than 0.05). A greater proportion of surviving stroke unit patients was independent in walking (0.10 greater than p greater than 0.05), personal hygiene (p less than 0.05) and dressing (p less than 0.001). Essential features of the stroke unit are team work headed by a stroke nurse, staff, patient and family education and very early onset of rehabilitation. We conclude that this strategy improves functional outcome and reduces the need for long-term hospital care.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association