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QUESTION: For patients in hospital with acute stroke, does care in a stroke unit (SU) decrease long term mortality and increase independence and the proportion of patients who are living at home when compared with general ward (GW) care?
Randomised (allocation concealed), blinded (outcome assessor), controlled trial with 10 years of follow up.
A university hospital in Norway.
220 patients (mean age 73 y, 51% men) in hospital with acute stroke. Exclusion criteria were deep coma on admission or living in a nursing home before onset of symptoms. Follow up was 100%.
110 patients were allocated to care in a 6 bed SU. The programme was standardised with up to 42 days (mean 16 d) of team based care that included diagnostic evaluation, acute treatment, and mobilisation …
Sources of funding: Norwegian Council on Cardiovascular Diseases; The Fund of Cardiovascular Research.
For correspondence:Dr B Indredavik, The Stroke Unit, Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Trondheim, N–7006 Trondheim, Norway. Fax +47 73 86 7546.