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Recent literature and Dutch guidelines for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) recommend screening for cognitive impairments and referral to cognitive rehabilitation when needed. The aim of this study is to assess the uptake of these recommendations for OHCA patients.
An internet-based questionnaire was sent to 74 cardiologists and 143 rehabilitation specialists involved in rehabilitation of OHCA patients in the Netherlands. The questionnaire covered: background characteristics, availability and content of cognitive screening and rehabilitation, organisation of care, experienced need for an integrated care pathway including physical and cognitive rehabilitation, barriers and facilitators for an integrated care pathway.
Forty-five questionnaires were returned (16 cardiologists and 29 rehabilitation doctors). Thirty-nine percent (n = 17) prescribed cognitive screening. Eighty-nine percent underscores an added value of an integrated care pathway. Barriers for an integrated care pathway included lack of knowledge, logistic obstacles, and poor cooperation between medical specialties.
In the Netherlands, only a minority of cardiologists and rehabilitation specialists routinely prescribe some form of cognitive screening in OHCA patients, although the majority underscores the value of cognitive screening in OHCA patients in an integrated care pathway. The uptake of such a care pathway seems hindered by lack of knowledge and organisational barriers.
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