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African Journal of Disability (Online)

versión On-line ISSN 2226-7220
versión impresa ISSN 2223-9170


PILLAY, Stephanie C. et al. Factors affecting length of hospital stay in stroke survivors in South Africa: A call for a stroke unit. Afr. j. disabil. (Online) [online]. 2022, vol.11, pp.1-7. ISSN 2226-7220.

BACKGROUND: Stroke in Africa is a growing and neglected crisis with the incidence more than doubling in low- to middle-income countries in the last four decades. Despite this growing threat, implementation of stroke models of care in hospitals is lacking. Stroke units as a model of care have been shown to decrease mortality, reduce length of hospital stay (LOS) and improve outcomes in stroke survivors. OBJECTIVES: To determine the profile of stroke survivors and identify factors contributing to LOS at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH) in South Africa to support stroke unit implementation. METHOD: This study involved a retrospective record review of stroke survivors admitted to CHBAH between September 2018 and May 2019. Factors associated with LOS were determined using linear regression models; univariate and multiple regression models were fitted RESULTS: A total of 567 participants' data were included. Overall, 51.85% of the participants required services from all rehabilitation disciplines. The median LOS was 9 days (interquartile ranges [IQR]: 5-11 days) with each discipline providing an average of six sessions. Participants who were referred to the rehabilitation team 3 days after admission to hospital stayed 6 days longer compared with those participants who were referred earlier (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Delayed referral to the rehabilitation team resulted in increased LOS. This study supports the need for dedicated stroke units to decrease hospital LOS and improve patients' outcomes by ensuring early, well-coordinated rehabilitation intervention and discharge planning. CONTRIBUTION: The study highlights the urgency for re-evaluation of stroke care infrastructure within Gauteng to streamline and provide accessible stroke models of care.

Palabras clave : stroke; rehabilitation; length of stay; stroke unit; South Africa.

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