Community stroke rehabilitation teams (CSRTs) provide a community-based, interdisciplinary approach to stroke rehabilitation. Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of these teams with respect to client outcomes.
Functional, psychosocial, and caregiver outcome data. were available at intake, discharge from the program, and six-month follow-up. Repeated measures analysis of covariance was performed to assess patient changes between time points for each outcome measure.
A total of 794 clients met the inclusion criteria for analysis (54.4% male, mean age 68.5±13.0 years). Significant changes were found between intake and discharge on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale total score (p=0.017), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Anxiety subscale (p<0.001), Functional Independence Measure (p<0.001), Reintegration to Normal Living Index (p=0.01), Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale (p<0.001), and Caregiver Assistance and Confidence Scale assistance subscale (p=0.005). Significant gains were observed on the strength, communication, activities of daily living, social participation, memory, and physical domains of the Stroke Impact Scale (all p<0.001). These improvements were maintained at the 6-month follow-up. No significant improvements were observed upon discharge on the memory and thinking domain of the Stroke Impact Scale; however, there was a significant improvement between admission and follow-up (p=0.002). All significant improvements were maintained at the 6-month follow-up.
Results indicate that the community stroke rehabilitation teams were effective at improving the functional and psychosocial recovery of patients after stroke. Importantly, these gains were maintained at 6 months postdischarge from the program. A home-based, stroke-specific multidisciplinary rehabilitation program should be considered when accessibility to outpatient services is limited.