Prognosis assessment in stroke patients at discharge from hospital

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Backgroundaccurate prognostic assessments of need of help, health and dwelling situation in stroke patients are important for patient management, rehabilitation, discharge planning, and for providing reliable information to patients and their relatives.Objectiveto analyse factors affecting the accuracy of discharge prognosis assessments.Designprospective study of stroke patients discharged from hospital.Settingtwo cities in central Sweden.Subjectsthree hundred and ninety stroke patients, 65 years or older, living in their own homes and having no dementia diagnosis prior to hospital admission.Methodsat discharge, physicians, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics were asked to make an individual prognosis assessment regarding patients’ need for help, health and dwelling situation at 3 and 12 months after admission to hospital.Resultsthe prognosis assessments were on average accurate in 68.4% (3 months) and 61.5% (12 months), far better than chance (33.3%). There were no significant differences between staff categories. The accuracy was influenced by a number of patient linked factors, such as activity degree, household situation before admission, and Mini Mental State Examination level and need of help measured 1 week after discharge, and ranged from 22 to 89%, depending on factor combinations.Conclusionsprognosis assessments based on clinical judgement were on average quite accurate but the accuracy varied markedly with patient linked factors. Feedback of outcome might be one way to further improve the accuracy of prognosis assessment.

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