Article Text

Download PDFPDF

A longitudinal, multicentre, cohort study of community rehabilitation service delivery in long-term neurological conditions
  1. Richard J Siegert1,
  2. Diana M Jackson2,
  3. E Diane Playford3,
  4. Simon Fleminger4,
  5. Lynne Turner-Stokes2,5
  1. 1School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies and School of Rehabilitation and Occupational Studies, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, King's College London, London, UK
  3. 3Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  5. 5Regional Rehabilitation Unit, Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Richard J Siegert; richard.siegert{at}


Objectives Part A: To pilot the use of a register to identify and monitor patients with complex needs arising from long-term neurological conditions. Part B: To determine the extent to which patients’ needs for health and social services are met following discharge to the community after inpatient rehabilitation; to identify which factors predict unmet needs and to explore the relationship between service provision and outcomes at 12 months.

Design A multicentre, prospective, cohort study surveying participants at 1, 6 and 12 months using postal/online questionnaires and telephone interview.

Setting Consecutive discharges to the community from all nine tertiary, specialist, inpatient neurorehabilitation services in London over 18 months in 2010–2011.

Participants Of 576 admissions 428 patients were recruited at discharge: 256 responded at 4 weeks, 212 at 6 months and 190 at 12 months.

Measures Neurological Impairment Scale, The Needs and Provision Complexity Scale, The Northwick Park Dependency Scale, Community Integration Questionnaire, Zarit Burden Inventory.

Results n=322 (75%) expressed willingness to be registered, but in practice less than half responded to questionnaires at 6 and 12 months (49% and 44%, respectively), despite extensive efforts to contact them, with no significant differences between responders and non-responders. Significant unmet needs were identified within the first year following discharge, particularly in rehabilitation, social work support and provision of specialist equipment. Dependency for basic care and motor and cognitive impairment predicted services received, together accounting for 40% of the variance. Contra to expectation, patients whose rehabilitation needs were met were more dependent and less well integrated at 12 months post discharge than those with unmet needs.

Conclusions Registration is acceptable to most patients, but questionnaires/telephone interviews may not be the most efficient way to reach them. When community resources are limited, service provision tends to be focused on the most dependent patients.

Registration The study was registered with the NIHR Comprehensive Local Research Network: ID number 7503

  • Rehabilitation Medicine

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.