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Physiotherapy provision to hospitalised stroke patients: Analysis from the UK Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mark P Mcglinchey, Lizz Paley, Alex Hoffman, Abdel Douiri, Anthony G Rudd, SSNAP collaboration

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Stroke Journal
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

King's Authors


The purpose of this study is to investigate which factors are associated with physiotherapy provision to hospitalised stroke patients.

Data were analysed for stroke patients admitted to hospital in England and Wales between April 2013 and March 2017 recorded on the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) national stroke register. Associations between different patient factors, and applicability for and intensity of physiotherapy were measured using multi-level logistic and regression models.

Findings: Data from 306,078 patients were included on the SSNAP register. Median age was 77 years (IQR 67–85) and 84.7% of patients with completed stroke severity data had a mild-moderate stroke. In all, 85.2% of patients recorded on SSNAP were deemed applicable for physiotherapy. Applicability for physiotherapy was 47% higher among thrombolysed patients (aOR 1.47, 95% CI 1.40–1.54), 36% lower in those with severe pre-morbid disability (aOR 0.64, 95% CI 0.58–0.71) and more than 2.5-fold higher among patients admitted to hospitals with greater availability of early supported discharge (aOR 2.62, 95% CI 1.28–5.37). Patients who were younger, male, had less pre-morbid disability, lower stroke severity, sustained an infarction, received thrombolysis, and had fewer medical complications were more likely to receive more intensive physiotherapy post-stroke.

Several patient and service organisational factors are associated with physiotherapy provision to stroke patients, some of which may not be justifiable. Physiotherapists should be aware of these factors when planning and delivering physiotherapy as well as any possible biases associated with physiotherapy provision to patients post-stroke.

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