For stroke care there is a lack of knowledge on how resources should be deployed effectively to achieve good outcomes in terms of patient mortality, impairment, disability and quality of life. This project will therefore examine, in different countries, the role in stroke care of support provided by hospital and community health services and by patients and their carers. As a result the project will develop protocols for improving the quality of stroke services throughout Europe.
In achieving its overall objective the project will:
- quantify the resources and costs devoted to stroke care by primary, ambulatory, community and hospital services, and by patients and their carers.
- quantify the outcomes of care in terms of mortality, impairment, disability and patient quality of life.
- quantify the relationship between patient outcomes and the resources and costs devoted to stroke care,
- develop protocols which describe how the overall resources devoted to stroke care can best be deployed so as to improve the range of patient outcomes. Such protocols, and the analysis underlying them, will provide a basis for rapidly modelling the resource and cost implications of new innovations in stroke management such as the use of acute thrombolytic therapy.
- place these recommended protocols within the context of the health care planning and financing systems of member states in study areas so as to assess the feasibility and likely desirability of their introduction and any changes in incentive structures that are needed to facilitate their introduction,
- develop general methodologies for comparing across states the resources, costs and outcomes of stroke care. These are likely to be applicable to other common conditions.
- disseminate throughout participating centres across Europe techniques for measuring resources, costs and outcomes of stroke care and as a consequence extend the research capabilities in these centres.
Participating centres have been chosen because: they exhibit within their localities wide variation in their overall deployment of resources for stroke; they have an established interest in stroke research; they will already be collecting many of the data needed by the project because of their use of community based stroke registers.
The project will be multidisciplinary in its approach, and will develop methods which to a large extent have already been used by many of its participants. The output of the project will extend the methods of these disciplines, improve research capability and capacity in participating centres, and lead to improved quality of care and reduced mortality, impairment and disability for stroke patients throughout Europe.