Randomized controlled trial of home rehabilitation for patients with ischemic stroke: impact upon disability and elderly depression

Authors

  • Pakaratee CHAIYAWAT,

    1. Faculty of Physical Therapy, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom
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  • Kongkiat KULKANTRAKORN

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand
      Kongkiat Kulkantrakorn, MD, Neurology division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Khlong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand. Email: kongkiat1@gmail.com
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Kongkiat Kulkantrakorn, MD, Neurology division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Khlong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand. Email: kongkiat1@gmail.com

Abstract

Background:  Patients with major stroke are often left with disability and may have depression and dementia during the recovery phase. Rehabilitation programmes have been shown to improve short-term physical outcome, but their long-term effectiveness and impact on dementia and depression are uncertain.

Methods:  We performed a 6-month randomized controlled trial of a home rehabilitation programme and compared it with the standard care patients with recent ischemic stroke receive. The intervention group received home-based physical therapy once a month for 6 months, along with educational support, counselling and audiovisual materials. The control group received rehabilitation as prescribed by a physician and educational materials upon discharge from hospital. The primary measurement was a change in Barthel Index. Secondary measurements were the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Thai Mini-Mental State Examination.

Results:  Of the 68 screened patients, 60 patients were enrolled. At baseline, there was no significant difference in patient characteristics between the two groups. Over 2 years, the mean Barthel Index and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were significantly improved in the intervention group compared to the control group (Barthel Index mean: from 31.7 ± 5.9 to 97.2 ± 2.8 vs from 33.2 ± 4.8 to 76.4 ± 9.4, P < 0.001; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale mean: from 16.1 ± 7.6 to 9.1 ± 0.3 vs 16.4 ± 4.9 to 9.1 ± 0.3, P= 0.003). Depression was strongly associated with being dependent on others. However, the Thai Mini-Mental State Examination in both groups did not significantly differ (Thai Mini-Mental State Examination mean: from 24.4 ± 2.0 to 24.6 vs 23.8 ± 1.9 to 24.1 ± 0.3, P= 0.068). There was no significant interaction between baseline characteristics and treatment outcome.

Conclusions:  At 2 years follow-up, it was evident that a 6-month home rehabilitation programme after ischemic stroke improved functional outcome and reduced incidence of depression, but not dementia.

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