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Follow-up services for stroke survivors after hospital discharge--a randomized control study

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether follow-up services for stroke survivors could improve functional outcome and reduce readmission rate. In this paper results of functional outcome are reported.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial allocating patients to one of three different types of aftercare: (1) follow-up home visits by a physician, (2) physiotherapist instruction in the patient's home, or (3) standard aftercare.

SUBJECTS: Stroke patients with persisting impairment and disability who, after completing inpatient rehabilitation, were discharged to their homes.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Six months after discharge, functional outcome was assessed with Functional Quality of Movement, Barthel Index, Frenchay Activity Index and Index of Extended Activites of Daily Living.

RESULTS: One-hundred and fifty-five stroke patients were included in the study. Fifty-four received follow-up home visits by a physician, 53 were given instructions by a physiotherapist in their home and 48 received standard aftercare only. No statistically significant differences in functional outcome six months after discharge were demonstrated between the three groups. However, all measurements showed a tendency towards higher scores indicating better function in both interventions groups compared with the control group.

CONCLUSION: Follow-up services after stroke may be a way of improving functional outcome. The results of the present study should be evaluated in future trials. More research in this field is needed, especially studies of how to support stroke survivors to resume social and leisure activities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)593-603
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

    Research areas

  • Aftercare, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Follow-Up Studies, House Calls, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Middle Aged, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Patient Discharge, Patient Readmission, Physical Therapy Modalities, Recovery of Function/physiology, Severity of Illness Index, Stroke/physiopathology, Stroke Rehabilitation, Time Factors

ID: 53971910