The Quality of Discharge Care Planning in Acute Stroke Care: Influencing Factors and Association with Postdischarge Outcomes

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Background: Comprehensive discharge planning is important for successful transitions from hospital to home after stroke. The aim of this study was to describe the quality of discharge planning received by patients discharged home from acute care, identify factors associated with a positive discharge experience, and assess the influence of discharge quality on outcomes. Method: Patients discharged to the community and registered in the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry in 2014 were invited to participate. Patient-perceived discharge quality was evaluated using the Prescriptions, Ready to re-enter community, Education, Placement, Assurance of safety, Realistic expectations, Empowerment, Directed to appropriate services questionnaire (recall at 3-9 months). Factors associated with higher discharge quality scores were identified and associations between quality scores of more than 80% and outcomes were investigated using multivariable, multilevel regression analyses. Results: There were 200 of 434 eligible registrants who responded; responders and nonresponders were similar with respect to age, sex, and type of stroke. The average overall quality score was 73% (standard deviation: 21). However, only 18% received all aspects of discharge care planning. Quality scores of more than 80% were independently associated with receiving hospital specific information (odds ratio: 5.7, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.7, 12.4), and referral to a local support group (odds ratio: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.9). Discharge quality scores of more than 80% were associated with higher European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions EQ-5D scores (coefficient: .1, 95% CI: .04, .2) and a reduction in the rate of unmet needs reported at 3-9 months postdischarge (incidence rate ratio: .5, 95% CI: .3, .7). Conclusion: We provide new information on the quality of discharge planning from acute care after stroke. Aspects of discharge planning that correlate with quality of care may reduce unmet needs and improve quality of life outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-590
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Discharge planning
  • Outcomes
  • Quality of care
  • Quality of life
  • Stroke care
  • Stroke delivery
  • Unmet needs

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