Changes in functional outcome in inpatient stroke rehabilitation resulting from new health policy regulations in Italy

S. Paolucci, M. Traballesi, L. E. Gialloreti, L. Pratesi, S. Lubich, G. Antonucci, C. Caltagirone

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This study was designed to assess whether enforcement of new health policy regulations in Italy limiting fully paid hospital stay to 60 days has actually caused a decrease in rehabilitation outcomes of stroke patients. Final sample included 370 out of 398 consecutive patients hospitalized between 1993 and 1996 for first stroke sequelae. Rehabilitation results were compared between subgroups of patients admitted before and after new Italian regulations. Length of stay was significantly (p <0.001) shorter in 1996 than in previous years. However, between 1993 and 1996 a significant (p <0.05) decrease in effectiveness on mobility and a significant (p <0.05) increase in 'low responders' on both daily living activities and mobility was observed. Moreover, in 1995-96 the precocious discharge of patients compromised stabilization of recovery with subsequent functional worsening. After discharge, outpatient rehabilitation treatment was able to conserve achieved mobility status, but not functional status on daily living activities. We suggest revising the present regulation for medical rehabilitation services to one based on FRGs (functional related groups), so that the appropriate treatment can be carried out for each patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998



  • Functional outcome
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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