Prevalence of persistent vegetative state/apallic syndrome in Vienna

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Abstract

The aim of the project was to survey the hospital prevalence of apallic syndrome in a federal state in Austria at an exact point in time. To achieve this, a point prevalence study was carried out on 28 November 2001 in the Vienna region. The central element was a questionnaire, which provided an exact recording of the patients' condition. An additional preliminary task was to check all the discharge diagnoses in the hospitals of the Vienna Hospital Association (Wiener Krankenanstalten Verbund) between 1996 and 2000 according to the ICD-9 diagnoses for apallic syndrome. These data should serve to cross-check the recorded results. All hospitals (n = 48) and nursing facilities (n = 44) in Vienna were included in this investigation. As the aim of the study was to record the prevalence of apallic syndrome in the population of Vienna, four patients of the group with full-stage apallic syndrome (n = 36) were excluded as they were from other federal states. In total, 32 hospital patients who met the clinical criteria for apallic syndrome (full-stage) were recorded. The point prevalence of apallic syndrome was 1.9/100 000 inhabitants. As a result of this study, the exact survey of hospital prevalence of apallic syndrome could be found. As a consequence, the Viennese government has developed a rehabilitation concept for patients with apallic syndrome in Vienna.

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