The objective was to compare and evaluate assistive technology given to patients treated in a stroke unit and patients treated in a general medical ward.
Use and cost of assistive technology was evaluated in a randomized study comprising 249 patients during a 12-month period.
Acute stroke unit care was associated with a higher prescription of assistive devices during the first 3 months. There was no difference in use and total mean cost per patient of assistive technology during the first year after stroke.
There was no difference in use or cost of assistive technology during the first year, but a beneficial effect was found on supplementary prescription of assistive devices during the first 3 months. The cost during the first year after stroke was a small fraction of the total costs for care and rehabilitation. It is not expensive for the community to equip these patients and their caregivers with assistive technology, and economic resources should be available to this vulnerable group of elderly patients.