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(searched for: doi:10.3389/fneur.2021.621495)
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, Joosup Kim, Geoffrey Cloud, Craig S. Anderson, Emma K. Tod, Sibilah J. Breen, Steven Faux, Timothy Kleinig, Helen Castley, Richard I. Lindley, et al.
Published: 31 January 2022
Journal of Stroke, Volume 24, pp 79-87; https://doi.org/10.5853/jos.2021.02530

Abstract:
Background and Purpose Changes to hospital systems were implemented from March 2020 in Australia in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, including decreased resources allocated to stroke units. We investigate changes in the quality of acute care for patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack during the pandemic according to patients’ treatment setting (stroke unit or alternate ward).Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted with stroke or transient ischemic attack between January 2019 and June 2020 in the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR). The AuSCR monitors patients’ treatment setting, provision of allied health and nursing interventions, prescription of secondary prevention medications, and discharge destination. Weekly trends in the quality of care before and during the pandemic period were assessed using interrupted time series analyses.Results In total, 18,662 patients in 2019 and 8,850 patients in 2020 were included. Overall, 75% were treated in stroke units. Before the pandemic, treatment in a stroke unit was superior to alternate wards for the provision of all evidence-based therapies assessed. During the pandemic period, the proportion of patients receiving a swallow screen or assessment, being discharged to rehabilitation, and being prescribed secondary prevention medications decreased by 0.58% to 1.08% per week in patients treated in other ward settings relative to patients treated in stroke units. This change represented a 9% to 17% increase in the care gap between these treatment settings during the period of the pandemic that was evaluated (16 weeks).Conclusions During the first 6 months of the pandemic, widening care disparities between stroke units and alternate wards have occurred.
, , Simone Dorsch, Avril Drummond, Dorcas Bc Gandhi, Judith Halliday Green, Ben Schelfaut, Paul Verschure, , Sean Savitz
International Journal of Stroke, Volume 17, pp 487-493; https://doi.org/10.1177/17474930211062480

Abstract:
Aims: The aim of this rapid review and opinion paper is to present the state of the current evidence and present future directions for telehealth research and clinical service delivery for stroke rehabilitation. Methods: We conducted a rapid review of published trials in the field. We searched Medline using key terms related to stroke rehabilitation and telehealth or virtual care. We also searched clinical trial registers to identify key ongoing trials. Results: The evidence for telehealth to deliver stroke rehabilitation interventions is not strong and is predominantly based on small trials prone to Type 2 error. To move the field forward, we need to progress to trials of implementation that include measures of adoption and reach, as well as effectiveness. We also need to understand which outcome measures can be reliably measured remotely, and/or develop new ones. We present tools to assist with the deployment of telehealth for rehabilitation after stroke. Conclusion: The current, and likely long-term, pandemic means that we cannot wait for stronger evidence before implementing telehealth. As a research and clinical community, we owe it to people living with stroke internationally to investigate the best possible telehealth solutions for providing the highest quality rehabilitation.
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