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Palliative care needs and specialist services post stroke: national population-based study


Objectives (1) To compare palliative care needs of patients admitted primarily with stroke and (2) to determine how the care needs of these patients affect their use of different types of specialist palliative care services.

Methods Observational study based on point-of-care data from the Australian Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to explore the association between patients’ palliative care needs and use of community versus inpatient specialist palliative care services.

Results The majority of patients who had a stroke in this study population had mild or no symptom distress, but experienced a high degree of functional impairment and needed substantial help with basic tasks of daily living. A lower Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status score (OR=1.82, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.13) and occurrence of an ‘unstable’ palliative care phase (OR=28.34, 95% CI 9.03 to 88.94) were associated with use of inpatient versus community palliative care, but otherwise, no clear association was observed between the majority of symptoms and use of different care services.

Conclusions Many people with stroke could potentially have been cared for and could have experienced the terminal phases of their condition in a community setting if more community support services were available for their families.

  • Stroke
  • Terminal care
  • Symptoms and symptom management

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.

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