Variation in Organization of Transient Ischemic Attack Care in The Netherlands. A Nationwide Survey Study

Fenna Floortje Muller, Frank de Beer, Marieke Christine Visser

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Background Previous research has shown the importance of urgent initiation of antiplatelet therapy after transient ischemic attack (TIA) to reduce the risk of stroke. Many hospitals in the Netherlands have therefore implemented rapid pathways for assessment of patients with TIA. Dutch stroke guidelines lack clear directives for organization of TIA assessment and thus allow for variation. The aim of this study was to investigate variation in organization of TIA assessment in Dutch hospitals. Methods One neurologist per hospital (of 88 Dutch hospitals) with special interest in stroke was invited to participate in a web-based survey addressing the organization, content, and timing of TIA assessment. Results Seventy (80%) neurologists completed the survey, all of whom reported performing TIA assessment in their hospital. There was considerable variation in the method of application and the location of assessment. In 10% of the hospitals, patients with TIA are always admitted to the ward. The content of diagnostics is fairly similar, but hospitals vary in the extent of cardiological workup. Almost all hospitals aim for a swift start of assessment as directed by guidelines, but access time differs. Eighty-six percent of respondents reported that antiplatelet therapy is usually initiated before assessment, based on history. Conclusions This study showed variation in organization of TIA assessment in Dutch hospitals, especially regarding location within the hospital, time to assessment after announcement, and cardiological workup. Further research is needed to investigate implications of this variation for quality of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1899-1903
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • TIA
  • organization
  • secondary prevention
  • stroke
  • transient ischemic attack

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