Access to rehabilitation facilities in an unselected hospital population affected by acute stroke

Ital J Neurol Sci. 1997 Feb;18(1):9-16. doi: 10.1007/BF02106224.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the selection criteria and characteristics of the patients who have access to rehabilitation facilities after having experienced an acute stroke. Between January 1993 and February 1994, 383 patients were recruited in 13 hospitals in Lombardy, and telephonically followed up four months after study entry. The data were collected by members of the Associazione Volontari Ospedalieri (Hospital Volunteers' Association). The 4-month mortality rate was 23%. The primary selection criterion for gaining access to rehabilitation facilities was the degree of disability; the secondary factor was age. Rehabilitation facilities were not available to very severely afflicted or self-sufficient patients, but were preferentially made available to young, partially-dependent patients. A rehabilitative intervention within the first month was made available to fewer than 50% of the patients for whom it was indicated. The absence of care for elderly patients and the delay in its availability for those who actually receive it underline the need for new organisational methods. The data presented here also show that voluntary associations can work as observers of the health service. A more complete study is required in order to understand the real dimensions of the problem and the clinical and social characteristics of the population involved.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / mortality
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rehabilitation Centers*
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival