Table 1

Characteristics of patients with stroke who spent at least 90% and those who spent less than 90% of admission in an SU

Spent at least 90% of admission in an SUYes (n=1687)
n (%)
No (n=968)
n (%)
P values
Patient characteristics
 Age, median (Q1, Q3)*75 (65, 84)77 (66, 85)0.006
 Male936 (55)537 (55)0.99
 Independent prior to stroke (mRS 0–2)1401 (83)810 (84)0.68
 In-hospital stroke26 (2)37 (4)<0.001
 Stroke type
  Ischaemic stroke1426 (85)805 (83)0.36
  Haemorrhagic stroke162 (10)114 (12)0.08
  Unknown stroke type99 (6)49 (5)0.38
 Stroke severity†
  Arm weakness on admission1030 (62)592 (63)0.82
  Impaired speech on admission987 (60)554 (59)0.52
  Unable to walk on admission862 (52)543 (57)0.005
  Incontinence at 72 hours of admission488 (30)340 (36)0.001
 History of comorbidities
  Atrial fibrillation‡418 (28)276 (33)0.01
  Ischaemic heart disease‡396 (27)254 (30)0.05
  Previous stroke or TIA§513 (34)277 (32)0.49
Clinical processes of care
 Transferred to SU within 3 hours of ED arrival‡229 (16)52 (6)<0.001
 Transferred to SU within 24 hours of ED arrival‡1406 (95)516 (62)<0.001
 Brain scan within 24 hours of ED arrival¶1329 (97)722 (95)0.01
 Date of discharge from SU same as date of discharge from hospital1567 (99)456 (52)<0.001
Organisational characteristics
 Metropolitan hospital1634 (97)955 (99)0.004
 Private hospital116 (7)94 (10)0.01
 Stroke care coordinator present1030 (61)550 (57)0.03
 Access to onsite neurosurgery566 (34)402 (42)<0.001
 Stroke team involved in quality improvement in last 2 years1507 (89)831 (86)0.008
  Access to early supported dischargeteam229 (14)102 (11)0.02
 Regular multidisciplinary team meetings1659 (98)941 (97)0.05
 Number of beds on SU
  <5752 (45)464 (48)0.001
  5–9462 (27)307 (32)
  ≥10473 (28)197 (20)
 Stroke admissions last year ≥1001563 (93)916 (95)0.05
 Stroke specialist research nurse involved with
 treatment
319 (19)140 (14)0.004
 Access to ongoing inpatient rehabilitation1554 (92)916 (95)0.01
In-hospital outcomes
 Any severe complication**133 (8)129 (14)<0.001
 Independent on discharge (mRS 0–2)845 (54)408 (47)0.002
 Died in hospital107 (6)95 (10)0.001
 Discharge destination (survivors)
  Private residence869 (55)453 (52)0.14
  Residential aged care facility74 (5)77 (9)<0.001
  Inpatient rehabilitation487 (31)268 (31)0.95
  Other hospital ward122 (8)54 (6)0.16
  Other28 (2)21 (2)0.28
  • *<1% unknown/not documented data.

  • †1%–5% unknown/not documented data.

  • ‡11%–15% unknown/not documented data.

  • §6%–10% unknown/not documented data.

  • ¶16%–20% unknown/not documented data.

  • **A complication considered incapacitating, life threatening and one that prolongs hospital admission, for example, pneumonia, falls, fever, urinary tract infection, seizures, deep vein thrombosis.

  • ED, emergency department; mRS, modified Rankin Scale; SU, stroke unit; TIA, transient ischaemic attack.