University of Tasmania
139399 - health care providers perceptions.pdf (137.89 kB)

Health care providers’ perceptions of factors that influence the provision of acute stroke care in urban and rural settings: a qualitative study

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Objectives: Individuals living in rural areas have comparatively less access to acute stroke care than their urban counterparts. Understanding the local barriers and facilitators to the use of current best practice for acute stroke may inform efforts to reduce this disparity.

Methods: A qualitative study featuring semi-structured interviews and focus groups was conducted in the Australian state of Tasmania. Clinical staff from a range of disciplines involved in acute stroke care were recruited from three of the state’s four major public hospitals (one urban and two rural). A semi-structured interview guide based on the findings of an earlier quantitative study was used to elicit discussion about the barriers and facilitators associated with providing acute stroke care. An inductive process of thematic analysis was then used to identify themes and subthemes across the data set.

Results: Two focus groups and five individual interviews were conducted. Four major themes were identified from analysis of the data: systemic issues, clinician factors, additional support and patient-related factors. Acute stroke care within the study’s urban hospital was structured and comprehensive, aided by the hospital’s acute stroke unit and specialist nursing support. In contrast, care provided in the study’s rural hospitals was somewhat less comprehensive, and often constrained by an absence of infrastructure or poor access to existing resources.

Conclusion: The identified factors help to characterise acute stroke care within urban and rural hospitals and will assist quality improvement efforts in Tasmania’s hospitals.


Publication title

Sage Open Medicine








Tasmanian School of Medicine


Sage Publications, Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified; Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified

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