Title. Task-oriented training in rehabilitation after stroke: systematic review.
Aim. This paper is a report of a review conducted to provide an overview of the evidence in the literature on task-oriented training of stroke survivors and its relevance in daily nursing practice.
Background. Stroke is the second leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of adult disability in the Western world. The use of neurodevelopmental treatment in the daily nursing care of stroke survivors does not improve clinical outcomes. Nurses are therefore exploring other forms of rehabilitation intervention, including task-oriented rehabilitation. Despite the growing number of studies showing evidence on task-oriented interventions, recommendations for daily nursing practice are lacking.
Data Sources. A range of databases was searched to identify papers addressing task-oriented training in stroke rehabilitation, including Medline, CINAHL, Embase and the Cochrane Library of systematic reviews. Papers published in English between January 1996 and September 2007 were included. There were 42 papers in the final dataset, including nine systematic reviews.
Review methods. The selected randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews were assessed for quality. Important characteristics and outcomes were extracted and summarized.
Results. Studies of task-related training showed benefits for functional outcome compared with traditional therapies. Active use of task-oriented training with stroke survivors will lead to improvements in functional outcomes and overall health-related quality of life.
Conclusion. Generally, task-oriented rehabilitation proved to be more effective. Many interventions are feasible for nurses and can be performed in a ward or at home. Nurses can and should play an important role in creating opportunities to practise meaningful functional tasks outside of regular therapy sessions.