BACKGROUND: There is a need for follow-up care after stroke, but there is no consensus about the way to organise it. An intervention providing follow-up care for stroke patients and caregivers showed favourable effects on the level of social activities, but no other effects were found. The intervention consists of a maximum of five home visits to patients and caregivers during a period of 18 months post-discharge. The home visits are conducted by a stroke care coordinator (SCC) using a structured assessment tool. The objective of this study was to examine process-related factors that could have influenced the effectiveness of the intervention. METHODS: 77 stroke patients, 59 caregivers and 4 SCCs participated in the study. Data on the organisational characteristics of and the satisfaction with the intervention were collected by means of structured assessments, interviews and self-administered questionnaires at 1, 6, 12 and 18 months of follow-up. The intervention was provided between April 2008 and June 2011. RESULTS: Patients received an average of 3.8 home visits (SD 1.4) and 55% of them had a follow-up period of a maximum of 18 months. There were 1074 problems identified and the SCCs initiated 363 follow-up care and referral options. Stroke patients and caregivers were very satisfied with the intervention. The SCCs were satisfied with the assessment tool, but would like to see a structured referral system. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention was only partially performed in accordance with the protocol and was positively evaluated by patients, caregivers and SCCs. It is recommended to add a structured referral system to the intervention.
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- Follow-up care, Nurses, Process assessment, Stroke