Content » Vol 28, Issue 1

A pilot study of rehabilitation at home after stroke: a health-economic appraisal

Widén Holmqvist L, de Pedro Cuesta J, Möller G, Holm M, Sidén A
Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Family Medicine, Huddinge Hospital, Sweden
DOI: 10.2340/165019771996281918


This study aimed at describing the health-economic implications and organisational issues of rehabilitation at home in south-west Stockholm of 15 acute stroke patients, mean age 68. 2, male:female ratio 9:6, independent in feeding and continent one week after their stroke. Average patient satisfaction with different dimensions of care was 92%. Perceived dysfunction, by means of the Sickness Impact Profile, 3 months after stroke was highest for Recreation-and-Pastime, Home Management and Ambulation. Between 3-12 months after stroke, functional improvement was particularly seen in Home Management, Recreation-and-Pastime and Emotional Behaviour. Three fourths of the patients received help with different ADL tasks from a family caregiver and 1/5 from home service assistants. According to the scores for subjective health of the spouses and time used to help the patient, the burden that the programme put on the patient's family was modest, temporary and in accordance with preferences reported by the elderly in Sweden. The mean duration of hospital stay for patients under rehabilitation at home was 14 days and for a selected comparison group with similar ADL-grade, 27 days. The mean number of therapy sessions at home was 11. Each home visit took 3. 2 hours, 60% of which were direct patient time. In the selected comparison group, 1/3 was referred to other departments for rehabilitation and care, and 40% had contacts with day-care and paramedical professionals after discharge from the hospital. During the first year after stroke, the average, direct, per capita cost for rehabilitation at home amounted to SEK 127,730 divided between hospital care (50%), followed by contribution by family caregivers (18%), rehabilitation at home (10%), out-patient visits to physicians and nurses (8. 8%), home-help service (7%), auxiliary equipment (2%), medication (1. 5%), home adaptation (1%) and transportation service (0. 3%). This organisational model of home-based rehabilitation of stroke patients constitutes a feasible, possibly less expensive alternative and complement to current rehabilitation in hospital and primary care, which could be further developed and evaluated.

Lay Abstract


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