AIMS: We sought to investigate recent trends in stroke outcomes at hospital discharge among first-ever stroke patients.
METHODS: This was an analysis of data from the Malaysia National Stroke Registry. Patients aged 18 years or older documented as having a first episode of stroke in the registry were recruited. Subsequently, the comparison of proportions for overall and sex-specific stroke outcomes between years (from 2009 to 2017) was conducted. The primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale score, which was assessed at hospital discharge, and each patient was categorized as follows: 1) functional independence, 2) functional dependence, or 3) death for analysis.
RESULTS: This study included 9361 first-ever stroke patients. Approximately 36.2% (3369) were discharged in an independence state, 53.1% (4945) experienced functional dependence, and 10.8% (1006) patients died at the time of hospital discharge. The percentage of patients who were discharged independently increased from 23.3% in 2009 to 46.5% in 2017, while that of patients discharged in a disabled state fell from 56.0% in 2009 to 45.6% in 2017. The percentage of death at discharge was reduced from 20.7% in 2009 to 7.8% in 2017. These findings suggest that the proportions of stroke outcomes at hospital discharge have changed significantly over time (p
METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional survey using a 36-item questionnaire was conducted among country representatives to AOAN from August 2015 to August 2016.
RESULTS: A total of 18/20 AOAN member countries participated in the survey. All the countries have organized association with regular meetings, election of officers and neurology training program. In 9/18 countries, professionals other than neurologists were eligible for affiliation. In 11/18 countries, prior Internal medicine training (or equivalent postgraduate housemanship) is prerequisite to neurology program. Recertification examination is not a practice, but submission of CME is required in 7/18 countries to maintain membership. 12/18 countries publish peer-reviewed journals with at least 1 issue per year. Subspecialty training is offered in 14/18 countries. The ratio of neurologist to population ranges from 1:14,000 to as low as 1:32 million with 9/18 having <1 neurologist per 100,000 population. 6/18 countries have at least 1 specialized center solely for neurological diseases. In government-funded hospitals, the lag time to be seen by a neurologist and/or obtain neuroimaging scan ranges from 1day to 3months. All except one country have several medical- and lay- advocacy or support groups for different neurological conditions.
IMPLICATIONS: The data generated can be used for benchmarking to improve neurological care, training, collaborative work and research in the field of neurosciences among the AOAN member countries. The paper presented several strategies used by the different organizations to increase their number of neurologists and improve the quality of training. Sharing of best practices, academic networking, exchange programs and use of telemedicine have been suggested.