Rationale and design of an interventional study of cross-sectoral, coordinated treatment of stroke patients with patient-orientated outcome measurement (StroCare)

  • INTRODUCTION: Stroke has a long-term impact on functional status and quality of life in multiple health domains. A well-coordinated managed care program for stroke patients is crucial for ameliorating patients' health and cost-efficient use of resources. The aim of this study is the implementation and evaluation of an optimised cross-sectoral, coordinated and managed care program for stroke patients bridging secondary and tertiary care.

    METHODS: In this multi-center mixed method sequentially controlled intervention study, stroke patients with ischemic stroke (I63), transient ischemic attack and related syndromes (G45), or intracerebral haermorrhage (I64) will be invited to participate. For a 12-months period, 235 consecutive patients are expected to be enrolled and assigned standard of care treatment as an active control group. During the following 12 months, 235 consecutive patients will be enrolled and assigned to a post stroke intervention program. The StroCare intervention consists of repeated outpatient visits with specialized stroke teams, the implementation of a case manager, the use of an electronical tool for communication between acute care, rehabilitation facilities, and out-patient care, and the definition of individualized treatment targets. Patients will be followed up for 24 months. The primary outcome is health-related quality of life measured by the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System 10-Question Short Form (PROMIS-10) at 12 months after the index event, i.e. stroke or TIA. For the qualitative survey of the implementation process, 21 patients in the intervention group will be interviewed after implementation of the interventions. In addition, 20 health care providers and staff members will be interviewed before and after implementation. Additionally, economic outcomes will be evaluated after 6 and 12 months.

    PERSPECTIVE: The study will not only provide information about the tested intervention but is likely to be helpful for clinicians, suppliers of reimbursement, and researchers in implementing and evaluating complex interventions in stroke care in general. With this program, the health care system will have a reference model at its disposal for transfer to other regions and settings.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT04159324 ). Approval of the local ethics committee (Ethik-Kommission der Ärztekammer Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein) has been obtained.

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