Providing care beyond the hospital: perspective of a tertiary care hospital from a developing country

Saad Akhtar Khan, Aga Khan University
Muhammad Waqas, Aga Khan University
Badar Uddin Ujjan, Aga Khan University
Adnan Salim, Aga Khan University
Gohar Javed, Aga Khan University
Syed Ijlal Ahmed, Aga Khan University




Neurorehabilitation is an important aspect of continuing care for neurosurgical patients with functional disability. In developing countries, where formal home nursing frequently is unavailable, ensuring care after discharge is a difficult task. Training attendants to provide nursing care is an alternate option. In this study, we compared the outcomes of patients nursed by family members versus those looked after by a professional nurse.


This was a retrospective observational study conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi. The study consisted of 2 groups. Group 1 (consisting of patients cared for by a professional nurse) included 94 patients and group 2 (patients cared for by family members) included 102. All these patients had activity of daily living score of ≥3. Glasgow Outcomes Scale score, time to decannulation, development/worsening of bedsores, and mortality were recorded and compared between the groups at follow-up.


The study included 196 patients. Traumatic brain injury was the most common diagnosis. Nursing requirements were similar between the 2 groups and included tracheostomy care, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube care, peripherally inserted central catheter line care, care of patients with no bone flap, and log-rolling. The outcomes of the 2 groups were comparable and included bedsore development/worsening of grade, Glasgow Outcomes Scale score at follow-up, time to decannulation, and 30-day mortality.


There was no statistically significant difference in outcomes of patients nursed by family members compared with the patients looked after by professional nurses.