Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Background

Impact of stroke

  • Regardless of treatment advances, stroke remains a devastating disease, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, and one of the most expensive diseases to treat.
  • As the population ages, the economic burden of stroke is expected to increase.
  • Statistics analyzing health outcomes after stroke vary it has been estimated that 29% of individuals who experience a stroke die within a year, with 20% dying within three months; 25% becoming dependent; and 46% remaining independent (Hankey & Warlow, 1999).
  • Stroke is one of the most costly medical conditions, accounting for a significant portion of overall Canadian healthcare dollars and costing the Canadian economy $2.7 billion annually (HSFO, 2002b).

Stroke in Canada

  • Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada, with approximately 7% of all deaths attributable to stroke (Wilson et al., 2001).
  • Although stroke is an increasingly treatable disease, the residual disability attributable to stroke remains significant.

Stroke in Ontario

  • It is estimated that 14,863 individuals were hospitalized for stroke in Ontario in 2000 (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2002).