n South African Medical Journal - Functioning at 6 months post stroke following discharge from inpatient rehabilitation : research




To determine activity limitations, participation restrictions, health-related quality of life and caregiver strain in community-dwelling stroke survivors discharged from an intensive inpatient rehabilitation programme at 6 months post stroke.

Fifty-one consecutive stroke patients admitted to a Western Cape rehabilitation centre were included. Community-dwelling participants (=46) at 6 months post stroke were assessed using the Modified Rankin Scale (MRS), Barthel index (BI), Nottingham extended activities of daily living (NEADL) scale, Euroqol (EQ-5D) instrument and caregiver strain index (CSI).
Most participants (73.9%) were independent in activities of daily living or had minimal disability (BI 75 - 100). However, according to the NEADL, many participants were not independent in housework (60.9%), food preparation (52.2%), shopping (80.4%) and public transport use (65.2%), implying the need for caregiver assistance. According to the MRS, 29% of participants were severely disabled, requiring caregiver assistance for basic needs, and 20% could not be left alone. Feelings of anxiety or depression were felt in 50% of participants and 59% reported pain or discomfort, according to the EQ-5D. High levels of caregiver strain were reported in 56% of caregivers (CSI). Follow-up after discharge was reported in few participants.
Consideration should be given to support for stroke survivors and caregivers after discharge and whether targeted programmes can improve specific aspects of functioning, such as community mobility.


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