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Resource utilization and costs of stroke unit care integrated in a care continuum: A 1-year controlled, prospective, randomized study in elderly patients: the Göteborg 70+ Stroke Study.

Journal article
Authors Lisbeth Claesson
Gunilla Gosman-Hedström
M Johannesson
Björn Fagerberg
Christian Blomstrand
Published in Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation
Volume 31
Issue 11
Pages 2569-77
ISSN 1524-4628
Publication year 2000
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Section of Neurological Diseases
Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Medicine
Pages 2569-77
Language en
Keywords Acute Disease, Aged, Ambulatory Care, economics, Cerebrovascular Accident, diagnosis, rehabilitation, therapy, Female, Health Care Costs, Home Care Services, economics, utilization, Hospital Units, economics, utilization, Hospitalization, economics, Humans, Male, Sweden
Subject categories Neurology


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to examine resource utilization during a 12-month period after acute stroke in elderly patients randomized to care in an acute stroke unit integrated with a care continuum compared with conventional care in general medical wards. A secondary aim was to describe costs related to the severity of stroke. METHODS: Two hundred forty-nine consecutive patients aged >/=70 years with acute stroke within 7 days before admission, living in their own homes in Göteborg, Sweden, without recognized need of care were randomized to 2 groups: 166 patients were assigned to nonintensive stroke unit care with a care continuum, and 83 patients were assigned to conventional care. There was no difference in mortality or the proportion of patients living at home after 1 year. Main outcomes were costs from inpatient care, outpatient care, and informal care. RESULTS: Mean annual cost per patient was 170, 000 Swedish crowns (SEK) (equivalent to $25,373) and 191,000 SEK ($28,507) in the stroke unit and the general medical ward groups, respectively (P:=NS). Seventy percent of the total cost was for inpatient care, and 30% was for outpatient and informal care. For patients with mild, moderate, and severe stroke, the mean annual costs per patient were 107,000 SEK ($15,970), 263,000 SEK ($39, 254), and 220,000 SEK ($32,836), respectively (P:<0.001). There was no statistical difference in age or nonstroke diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: The total costs the first year did not differ significantly between the treatment groups in this prospective study. The total annual cost per patient showed a very large variation, which was related to stroke severity at onset and not to age or nonstroke diagnoses. Costs other than those for hospital care constituted a substantial fraction of total costs and must be taken into account when organizing the management of stroke patients. The high variability in costs necessitates a larger study to assess long-term cost effectiveness.

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