Aim: To evaluate factors that may contribute to the decision of the consultant medical officer (CMO) to: (1) admit a person with stroke to inpatient rehabilitation from acute hospitalisation; and (2) continue or cease inpatient rehabilitation.
Methods: A web-based survey of CMOs practising in Queensland Australia, who were members of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine (n ~ 90) or the Queensland Stroke Clinical Network (n ~ 30) was completed. The survey contained two sections to explore factors that could: (1) favour or disfavour admission to inpatient rehabilitation from acute hospitalisation; and (2) favour continuation or cessation of inpatient rehabilitation. Open and closed questions were used.
Results: Twenty-one CMOs (13–20% response rate, 43% geriatrician) completed the survey. Factors related to physical function, along with the presence of social supports favoured admission, while the presence of behavioural and cognitive impairments and a lack of staff capacity disfavoured admission. Improvements in function favoured continuation of inpatient rehabilitation, while a lack of improvement favoured cessation.
Conclusion: Factors related to the patient, their social support network and the organisation were found to influence the decision of the CMO to admit a person with stroke to inpatient rehabilitation from acute hospitalisation. Once in rehabilitation, demonstration of benefit was consistently reported to indicate continued service need.