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The palliative care needs of acute stroke patients : a prospective study of hospital admissions.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Christopher Burton
  • Sheila Payne
  • Julia Addington-Hall
  • Amanda Jones
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Age and Ageing
Issue number5
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)554-559
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: despite a mortality rate of approximately 30% in acute stroke, little is known about the palliative care needs of this group of patients. Design: prospective study of 191 acute stroke patients admitted to hospital in England. Biographical, medical and stroke-related data were collected. Participants completed the Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral to Care (SPARC), a screening tool for referral to specialist palliative care. Findings: over 50% reported moderate to significant fatigue-related problems. Approximately 50% reported symptom-related problems (e.g. pain) or psychological distress (e.g. anxiety). Approximately 25% had concerns about death or dying, and 66% had concerns about dependence and disability. Over 50% were worried about the impact of stroke on family members. There were significant main effects of dependence (Barthel Index) (F1,123 = 12.640 P = 0.001) and age (F4,123 = 3.022 P = 0.020), and a significant three-factor interaction between dependence, age and co-morbidities (F9,123 = 2.199 P = 0.026) in predicting total SPARC scores. Conclusions: acute stroke patients have a high prevalence of palliative care needs. Acute stroke services should use the SPARC for needs assessment. Priority for assessment should be given to patients with a score of <15/20 on the Barthel Index, a tool already used in most stroke services.