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Characterisation of young stroke presentations, pathways of care, and support for 'invisible' difficulties: a retrospective clinical audit study.

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posted on 2024-07-03, 04:09 authored by Michaela GrechMichaela Grech, Toni Withiel, Marlena KlaicMarlena Klaic, Caroline FisherCaroline Fisher, Leonie Simpson, Dana WongDana Wong

ABSTRACT Background: Young stroke survivors are likely to be discharged home from acute hospital care without rehabilitation more quickly than older survivors, but it is not clear why. File-audit studies capturing real-world clinical practice are lacking for this cohort. We aimed to compare characteristics and care pathways of young and older survivors and describe stroke presentations and predictors of pathways of care in young survivors (≤45years), including a focus on care received for 'invisible' (cognitive, psychological) difficulties. Methods: A retrospective audit of 847 medical records (67 young stroke survivors, mean age=36years; 780 older patients, mean age=70years) was completed for stroke survivors admitted to an Australian tertiary hospital. Stroke characteristics and presence of cognitive difficulties (identified through clinician opinion or cognitive screening) were used to predict length of stay and discharge destination in young stroke survivors. Results: There were no differences in length of stay between young and older survivors, however, young stroke survivors were more likely to be discharged home without rehabilitation (though this may be due to milder strokes observed in young stroke survivors). For young stroke survivors, stroke severity and age predicted discharge destination, while cognitive difficulties predicted longer length of stay. While almost all young survivors were offered occupational therapy and physiotherapy, none received psychological input (clinical, health or neuropsychology). Conclusions: Cognitive and psychological needs of young stroke survivors may remain largely unmet by a service model designed for older people. Findings can inform service development or models of care, such as the new Australian Young Stroke Service designed to better meet the needs of young survivors.


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Brain Impairment





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CSIRO Publishing



Rights Statement

© 2024 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND) licence.