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Care coordination/home-telehealth for veterans with stroke and their caregivers: addressing an unmet need.

Lutz BJ, Chumbler NR, Roland K. Care coordination/home-telehealth for veterans with stroke and their caregivers: addressing an unmet need. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation. 2007 Mar 1; 14(2):32-42.

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BACKGROUND: Stroke is a life-disrupting, costly event for many stroke patients and their families. An estimated 4.8 million stroke survivors are living in the community with some level of disability, and the incidence of stroke is expected to rise with correspondingly higher costs, both in dollars and other forms of burden for families of patients with stroke. Approximately 80,000 veterans have experienced a stroke, leaving approximately 40% with moderate residual impairments and 15%-30% with severe residual disability. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify postdischarge needs of veterans with stroke and their caregivers and to identify how to design a care coordination/home-telehealth (CC/HT) program to address these needs. METHOD: Veterans and their caregivers (N = 22) were interviewed about their experiences with stroke, their postdischarge stroke recovery needs, and their experiences with the Veterans Administration's existing Care Coordination/Home-Telehealth (CC/HT) program. Data were analyzed using the process of grounded dimensional analysis. RESULTS: Core concepts identified were (a) assessing and managing the residual effects of stroke, and (b) shifting roles and responsibilities. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that a comprehensive care coordination program that includes home telehealth could aid veterans and their caregivers in managing stroke recovery across the continuum of care at home and within the community. The results of the study can provide elements to be included in the CC/HT program.

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