The cost effectiveness of an early transition from hospital to nursing home for stroke patients: design of a comparative study

Heijnen, Ron W. H.; Evers, Silvia M. A. A.; van der Weijden, Trudy D. E. M.; Limburg, Martien; Schols, Jos M. G. A.
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p279
Academic Journal
Background: As the incidence of stroke has increased, its impact on society has increased accordingly, while it continues to have a major impact on the individual. New strategies to further improve the quality, efficiency and logistics of stroke services are necessary. Early discharge from hospital to a nursing home with an adequate rehabilitation programme could help to optimise integrated care for stroke patients. The objective is to describe the design of a non-randomised comparative study evaluating early admission to a nursing home, with multidisciplinary assessment, for stroke patients. The study is comprised of an effect evaluation, an economic evaluation and a process evaluation. Methods/design: The design involves a non-randomised comparative trial for two groups. Participants are followed for 6 months from the time of stroke. The intervention consists of a redesigned care pathway for stroke patients. In this care pathway, patients are discharged from hospital to a nursing home within 5 days, in comparison with 12 days in the usual situation. In the nursing home a structured assessment takes place, aimed at planning adequate rehabilitation. People in the control group receive the usual care. The main outcome measures of the effect evaluation are quality of life and daily functioning. In addition, an economic evaluation will be performed from a societal perspective. A process evaluation will be carried out to evaluate the feasibility of the intervention as well as the experiences and opinions of patients and professionals. Discussion: The results of this study will provide information about the cost effectiveness of the intervention and its effects on clinical outcomes and quality of life. Relevant strengths and weaknesses of the study are addressed in this article. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trails ISRCTN58135104


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