: The aim of this study was to document physicians' opinions on inpatient rehabilitation care for working-age patients in vegetative state after new acquired brain injury, given the absence of an established standard of post-acute care.
: A postal survey of 3259 Swedish physicians was conducted.
: Survey response rate was 33%. Of survey respondents, 51% reported that they knew the definition of vegetative state. Transfer of vegetative patients from acute care to inpatient rehabilitation was considered always warranted by 54% and never or only sometimes warranted by 31% of survey respondents, whereas 15% did not know or did not answer. Rehabilitation physicians most often considered an inpatient rehabilitation stay of around 3 mos to be appropriate, but there was a lack of consensus. Discharge from acute care direct to social care at least sometimes was reported by 39% of physicians.
: Physicians' opinions vary considerably on appropriate post-acute care for patients in vegetative state after acquired brain injury. This may impact on rates of referral and admission to rehabilitation units. Consensus is needed on a minimum period for and extent of rehabilitation interventions. Educational interventions should be targeted broadly to reach the wide range of specialties that may have responsibility for acute care of these patients.