Stroke Unit care in Italy. Results from PROSIT (poroject on stroke services in Italy). A nationwide study

A. Bersano, Livia Candelise, R. Sterzi, G. Micieli, M. Gattinoni, A. Morabito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The future challenge for improving stroke patients' outcome will be to implement new Stroke Units (SUs) worldwide. However the best SU model remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the number of SUs and the quality characteristics of acute stroke care in Italy. We conducted a SU survey in Italy, interviewing the directors of the hospital wards that discharged at least 50 acute stroke patients a year. A SU was defined as an acute ward area with stroke-dedicated beds and staff. To compare the quality of care provided in SUs with that in general wards (GWs) we investigated the characteristics of five domains: hospital setting, unit setting, staffing, process of care and diagnostic investigations. We identified 68 SUs and 677 GWs. Multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrated that SUs compared to GWs had higher quality scores in unit setting (ROC area=0.9721), staffing (ROC area=0.8760) and care organisation (ROC area=0.7984). The hospital setting (ROC area=0.7033) and the availability of rapid diagnostic investigations (ROC area=0.7164) had lower power in discriminating SU from GW. In Italy in 2003/04 only 9% of the hospital services had organised SU care. The study demonstrated that SUs admitted more than 100 patients per year, had more monitoring equipment and staffing time, and practised multidisciplinary meetings and early mobilisation. The utility of these structural and performance characteristics needs validation from outcome studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • Quality of health care
  • Stroke care
  • Stroke outcome
  • Stroke services
  • Stroke Unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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