A Consensus on Stroke
Early Supported Discharge
Background and Purpose—Research evidence supporting Early Supported Discharge (ESD) services has been summarized in a Cochrane Systematic Review. Trials have shown that ESD can reduce long-term dependency and admission to institutional care and reduce the length of hospital stay. No adverse impact on the mood or well-being of patients or carers has been reported. With the implementation of many national and international stroke initiatives, we felt it timely to reach consensus about ESD among trialists who contributed to the review.
Methods—We used a modified Delphi approach with 10 ESD trialists. An agreed list of statements about ESD was generated from the Cochrane review and three rounds of consultation completed. ESD trialists rated statements regarding team composition, model of team work, intervention, and success.
Results—Consensus of opinion (>75% agreement) was obtained on 47 of the 56 statements. Multidisciplinary, specialist stroke ESD teams should plan and co-ordinate both discharge from hospital and provide rehabilitation in the community. Specific eligibility criteria (safety, practicality, medical stability, and disability) need to be followed to ensure this service is provided for mild to moderate stroke patients who can benefit from ESD. Length of stay in hospital, patient and carer outcome measures and cost, need to be routinely audited.
Conclusions—We have created a consensus document that can be used by commissioners and service providers in implementing ESD services. Our aim is to promote the use of recommendations derived from research findings to facilitate successful implementation of stroke services nationally and internationally.
- health policy
- health services research
- patient discharge
- stroke delivery
- stroke management
- Received October 20, 2010.
- Accepted December 28, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.