Economic burden of stroke: a systematic review on post-stroke care

Eur J Health Econ. 2019 Feb;20(1):107-134. doi: 10.1007/s10198-018-0984-0. Epub 2018 Jun 16.


Objectives: Stroke is a leading cause for disability and morbidity associated with increased economic burden due to treatment and post-stroke care (PSC). The aim of our study is to provide information on resource consumption for PSC, to identify relevant cost drivers, and to discuss potential information gaps.

Methods: A systematic literature review on economic studies reporting PSC-associated data was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus/Elsevier and Cochrane databases, Google Scholar and gray literature ranging from January 2000 to August 2016. Results for post-stroke interventions (treatment and care) were systematically extracted and summarized in evidence tables reporting study characteristics and economic outcomes. Economic results were converted to 2015 US Dollars, and the total cost of PSC per patient month (PM) was calculated.

Results: We included 42 studies. Overall PSC costs (inpatient/outpatient) were highest in the USA ($4850/PM) and lowest in Australia ($752/PM). Studies assessing only outpatient care reported the highest cost in the United Kingdom ($883/PM), and the lowest in Malaysia ($192/PM). Fifteen different segments of specific services utilization were described, in which rehabilitation and nursing care were identified as the major contributors.

Conclusion: The highest PSC costs were observed in the USA, with rehabilitation services being the main cost driver. Due to diversity in reporting, it was not possible to conduct a detailed cost analysis addressing different segments of services. Further approaches should benefit from the advantages of administrative and claims data, focusing on inpatient/outpatient PSC cost and its predictors, assuring appropriate resource allocation.

Keywords: Cerebrovascular accident; Cost; Economic evaluation; Post-stroke care; Rehabilitation; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness*
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Stroke / economics*
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / economics*