Rationale -The aim of this work was to survey the contemporary facilities for early poststroke rehabilitation in Poland. The main research questions were: what is the availability of inpatient rehabilitation for post-stroke patients in neurological departments and in rehabilitation departments? Aims - Growing costs of health care are encouraging healthcare planners to look for new organizational solutions of services which could enable rehabilitation as early as possible after disease onset. Early post-stroke rehabilitation consists of many elements that provide for early onset rehabilitation and its continuation after discharge from stroke unit. Participants - Two questionnaires evaluating neurorehabilitation of people who underwent stroke was designed and distributed: first to 221 neurological wards and second to 154 rehabilitation departments in Poland. Design - We asked about delay before admission from neurological wards to rehabilitation departments, about the number of sessions per day, the time duration of one session, the number of sessions per week, the average length of stay in department, the methods of outcome measurement etc. Analysis - We sent out 375 questionnaire and received 129 (35%) responses, 78 from neurological wards and 51 from rehabilitation departments. Study Outcomes - Only 25% of all patients after stroke were moved from neurological wards to rehabilitation department (15% directly). Of those moved to rehabilitation departments only 54% were treated early post-stroke, i.e. within 3 months of stroke. Comment - Taking into account that about half of stroke survivors will need rehabilitation (30 days after stroke onset), the current facilities of early post-stroke rehabilitation in Poland cannot meet this need. We should do our best to introduce rehabilitation services such as Early Home Supported Discharge after stroke, which is currently not available in Poland. Conclusions - A relatively small number of patients in Poland were moved after stroke from neurological wards to rehabilitation departments as was the number treated in rehabilitation departments early post-stroke.
International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 2012, Vol 35, Issue 4, p. 367-371