Feasibility of a home-based physiotherapy intervention to promote post-stroke mobility: A randomized controlled pilot study

Ameerani Jarbandhan, Jerry Toelsie, Dirk Jan Veeger, Robbert Bipat, Luc Vanhees, Roselien Buys*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Objectives Home-based physiotherapy interventions to improve post-stroke mobility are successful in high-income countries. These programs require less resources compared to center-based programs. However, feasibility of such an intervention in a low and middle-income setting remains unknown. Therefore, the SunRISe (Stroke Rehabilitation In Suriname) study aimed to assess feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a home-based semi-supervised physiotherapy intervention to promote post-stroke mobility in a low resource setting. Design Prospective randomized controlled trial. Methods Chronic stroke patients were recruited and randomized into either an intervention group (IG (N = 20)) or a control group (CG (N = 10)). The IG received a 3-days-a-week home-based physiotherapy program that was supervised in the first 4 weeks and tele-supervised during the second 4 weeks. The physiotherapy program consisted of walking as well as functional and mobilization exercises. The CG received usual care. Feasibility outcome measures included adherence, patient satisfaction and safety. Efficacy measures included functional exercise tolerance (six-minute walking test (6MWT), functional balance (Berg Balance Score (BBS), upper extremity (UE) function (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) Questionnaire), and UE strength ((non-)paretic handgrip (HG) strength). Two-way analysis of variance was used for data analysis. Results Thirty participants (61.8 ± 9.2 years old, 13 men) were enrolled in the study. The intervention was completed by 14 participants (70%). Adherence was affected by rainy season associated infrastructural problems (n = 2), the medical status of participants (n = 3) and insufficient motivation to continue the program without direct supervision (n = 1). No adverse events were noted and participants were satisfied with the program. Functional exercise tolerance (57.2 ± 67.3m, p = 0.02) and UE function (-9.8 ± 15.2, p = 0.04) improved in the IG compared to no change in the CG. HG strength was unaltered and a ceiling effect occurred for BBS. Conclusion Our home-based semi-supervised physiotherapy intervention seems safe, associated with moderate to high levels of engagement and patient satisfaction and results in functional improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0256455
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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