Analysis of Italian regulations on pathways of care for patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state

Davide Sattin, Laura De Torres, Giuliano Dolce, Francesco Arcuri, Anna Estraneo, Viviana Cardinale, Roberto Piperno, Elena Zavatta, Rita Formisano, Mariagrazia D’Ippolito, Claudio Vassallo, Barbara Dessi, Gianfranco Lamberti, Elena Antoniono, Crocifissa Lanzillotti, Jorge Navarro, Placido Bramanti, Silvia Marino, Mauro Zampolini, Federico ScarponiRenato Avesani, Luca Salvi, Salvatore Ferro, Luigi Mazza, Paolo Fogar, Sandro Feller, Fulvio De Nigris, Andrea Martinuzzi, Mara Buffoni, Adriano Pessina, Paolo Corsico, Matilde Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Different rehabilitation models for persons diagnosed with disorders of consciousness have been proposed in Europe during the last decade. In Italy, the Ministry of Health has defined a national healthcare model, although, to date, there is a lack of information on how this has been implemented at regional level. The INCARICO project collected information on different regional regulations, analysing ethical aspects and mapping care facilities (numbers of beds and medical units) in eleven regional territories. The researchers found a total of 106 laws; differences emerged both between regions and versus the national model, showing that patients with the same diagnosis may follow different pathways of care. An ongoing cultural shift from a treatment-oriented medical approach towards a care-oriented integrated biopsychosocial approach was found in all the welfare and healthcare systems analysed. Future studies are needed to explore the relationship between healthcare systems and the quality of services provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Disorders of consciousness
  • Ethics
  • Law
  • Vegetative state
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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