What are the components of effective stroke unit care?

Age Ageing. 2002 Sep;31(5):365-71. doi: 10.1093/ageing/31.5.365.


Background: The effectiveness of organized inpatient (stroke unit) care has been demonstrated in systematic reviews of clinical trials. However, the key components of stroke unit care are poorly understood.

Methods: We conducted a survey of recent trials (published 1985-2000) of a stroke unit/ward which had demonstrated a beneficial effect consistent with the stroke unit systematic review.

Results: We identified 11 eligible stroke unit trials of which the majority described similar approaches to i) assessment procedures (medical, nursing and therapy assessments), ii) early management policies (e.g. early mobilization; avoidance of urinary catheterization; treatment of hypoxia, hyperglycaemia and suspected infection), iii) ongoing rehabilitation policies (e.g. co-ordinated multidisciplinary team care, early assessment for discharge).

Conclusions: This survey provides a description of stroke unit care which can serve as a benchmark for general stroke patient care and future clinical research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospital Units / organization & administration
  • Hospital Units / standards*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Workforce