Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness of a System of Longer-Term Stroke Care
Background and Purpose—We developed a new postdischarge system of care comprising a structured assessment covering longer-term problems experienced by patients with stroke and their carers, linked to evidence-based treatment algorithms and reference guides (the longer-term stroke care system of care) to address the poor longer-term recovery experienced by many patients with stroke.
Methods—A pragmatic, multicentre, cluster randomized controlled trial of this system of care. Eligible patients referred to community-based Stroke Care Coordinators were randomized to receive the new system of care or usual practice. The primary outcome was improved patient psychological well-being (General Health Questionnaire-12) at 6 months; secondary outcomes included functional outcomes for patients, carer outcomes, and cost-effectiveness. Follow-up was through self-completed postal questionnaires at 6 and 12 months.
Results—Thirty-two stroke services were randomized (29 participated); 800 patients (399 control; 401 intervention) and 208 carers (100 control; 108 intervention) were recruited. In intention to treat analysis, the adjusted difference in patient General Health Questionnaire-12 mean scores at 6 months was −0.6 points (95% confidence interval, −1.8 to 0.7; P=0.394) indicating no evidence of statistically significant difference between the groups. Costs of Stroke Care Coordinator inputs, total health and social care costs, and quality-adjusted life year gains at 6 months, 12 months, and over the year were similar between the groups.
Conclusions—This robust trial demonstrated no benefit in clinical or cost-effectiveness outcomes associated with the new system of care compared with usual Stroke Care Coordinator practice.
- cluster randomized controlled trial
- community health services
- cost-benefit analysis
- quality-adjusted life years
- Received January 21, 2015.
- Revision received March 19, 2015.
- Accepted April 6, 2015.
- © 2015 Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Stroke is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.