Quality of acute ischemic stroke care in Thailand: a prospective multicenter countrywide cohort study

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2014 Feb;23(2):213-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2012.12.001. Epub 2013 Jan 8.


Background: Data concerning quality of acute stroke care and outcome are scarce in developing countries.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate quality of acute stroke care and stroke outcomes in Thailand.

Methods: We performed a multicenter countrywide prospective cohort study. Consecutive patients with an acute ischemic stroke admitted to the participating institutions between June 2008 and November 2010 were included. Baseline characteristics, process measures including thrombolysis use, acute stroke unit admission, initiation of aspirin within 48 hours, and antithrombotic and/or anticoagulation medication at discharge were recorded. Main outcome measures were death and disability at discharge as well as in-hospital complications.

Results: A total of 1222 patients were included with a mean (±SD) age of 65.0 ± 13 years, and 55.0% were men. Median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 6.5. Patients were given aspirin within 48 hours, admitted to acute stroke unit, and given thrombolytic therapy in 71.1%, 24.6%, and 3.8%, respectively. Good recovery at discharge (modified Rankin scale score 0-1) was found in 26.1%, and 3.2% of patients died during hospitalization. The median length of stay was 4 days. Factors predicting poor outcome (modified Rankin scale score 5-6) at discharge included: age (by 10-year increments: adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.43), female sex (adjusted OR 1.52; 95% CI, 1.05-2.19), initial National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (adjusted OR 1.35; 95% CI, 1.27-1.43), and in-hospital complications (adjusted OR 3.16; 95% CI, 1.58-6.35).

Conclusions: Limited access to acute ischemic stroke care interventions were observed in many domains especially thrombolysis and stroke unit admission. These findings emphasize an urgent need for strategies to improve standard acute stroke care among developing countries.

Keywords: Stroke registry; Thailand; acute stroke care; quality of stroke care; stroke outcome.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / mortality
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Developing Countries
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Patient Discharge
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Thailand / epidemiology
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / standards
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Aspirin