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Stroke Units: An Evidence Based Approach.

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    Stroke Units: An Evidence Based Approach. Edited by peter langhorne and martin dennis. (Pp112, £25.00). Published by BMJ Books, London 1998. ISBN 0-7279-1211-9.

    Ever since the landmark overview “Do stroke units save lives?” the momentum behind the organisation of stroke sevices has inexorably increased. Within this concise paperback of seven chapters and 112 pages, written in the main by Langhorne and Dennis on behalf of the Stroke Unit Trialists Collaboration, lies a detailed, evidence-based, and critical summary of the arguments for stroke units.

    The authors lead the reader in a logical fashion through the steps necessary to critically appraise and assimilate available evidence into a systematic review. Basic but often overlooked general principles such as sources of bias are discussed in detail as well as matters relating more specifically to stroke such as outcome measurement.

    Particularly helpful are the chapters on the economics of stroke units and the implications for service planning in which the available evidence has been used to suggest how and at what cost (in fact an overall saving) stroke units might be developed.

    This comprehensively referenced book will be read by members of all disciplines involved in stroke care. If I was about to ask for funding for a stroke unit I would certainly have it in my pocket!