Development of a poststroke checklist to standardize follow-up care for stroke survivors

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013 Oct;22(7):e173-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2012.10.016. Epub 2012 Dec 21.


Background: Long-term care for stroke survivors is fragmented and lacks an evidence-based, easy-to-use tool to identify persistent long-term problems among stroke survivors and streamline referral for treatment. We sought to develop a poststroke checklist (PSC) to help health care professionals identify poststroke problems amenable to treatment and subsequent referral.

Methods: An instrument development team, supported by measurement experts, international stroke experts, and poststroke care stakeholders, was created to develop a long-term PSC. A list of long-term poststroke problem areas was generated by an international, multidisciplinary group of stroke experts, the Global Stroke Community Advisory Panel. Using Delphi methods, a consensus was reached on which problem areas on the list were most important and relevant to include in a PSC. The instrument development team concurrently created the actual checklist, which provided example language about how to ask about poststroke problem areas and linked patient responses to a specific referral process.

Results: Eleven long-term poststroke problem areas were rated highly and consistently among stroke experts participating in the Delphi process (n = 12): secondary prevention, activities of daily living, mobility, spasticity, pain, incontinence, communication, mood, cognition, life after stroke, and relationship with caregiver. These problem areas were included in the long-term PSC.

Conclusions: The PSC was developed to be a brief and easy-to-use tool, intended to facilitate a standardized approach for health care providers to identify long-term problems in stroke survivors and to facilitate appropriate referrals for treatment.

Keywords: Stroke; assessment of health care needs; continuity of patient care; long-term care; quality of life; referral and consultation; stroke rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers*
  • Checklist*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Delphi Technique
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Survivors