Home-based stroke therapy improves outcomes, eliminates wait times, saves money

October 1, 2012

Home delivery of stroke rehabilitation improves care, eliminates waiting lists for treatment and saves hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in hospital costs, according to a quality improvement project presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Early Supported Discharge, introduced as a permanent part of the Calgary Stroke Program in 2011, has resulted in equally good or better cognition, communication and physical function for people who receive therapy in their own homes as opposed to in a hospital or facility.

Not only that, the program has helped to virtually eliminate waiting lists for inpatient in Calgary, reduced lengths of stay in inpatient rehabilitation by an average 12 days, and saved approximately $1 million in the first year.

The 160 Calgary residents who received therapy in their homes for an average of five weeks following stroke saw significant improvements in knowledge use, use, domestic life and . All participants said they would recommend this approach to other people with stroke.

The program "blurs the boundaries between different disciplines providing care," including occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreation therapy, speech-language pathology, social work and nursing, says project lead Darren Knox, Unit Manager of the Calgary Stroke Program. Individualized therapy takes place three to five times a week for up to eight weeks.

The Calgary team focuses on skills involved in activities meaningful for daily living in the community. For example, a client's goal of visiting the local requires work on walking and route-finding, involved in money management and the language necessary for ordering a beverage.

"Addressing multiple areas of care every day keeps the person with stroke interested and motivated, which leads to a higher intensity of care, better carry-over from rehabilitation to real life, and faster improvements in a shorter period of time," Knox says.

"Providing people with therapy in their own homes or community is very effective," says neurologist Dr. Michael Hill, Co-Chair of the Canadian Stroke Congress. "By sending the person with stroke home and bringing rehabilitation to them, a more personalized approach to health care is being delivered with excellent results."

"This program demonstrates the benefits of focusing on clients' individual needs and aspirations following stroke," says Ian Joiner, director of stroke for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. "Imagine the savings to the health care system if similar programs were made available to all Canadians."

The Canadian Stroke Congress is co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Consortium.

Explore further: Rehabilitation robots uncover stroke disabilities and improve care

Related Stories

Rehabilitation robots uncover stroke disabilities and improve care

October 1, 2012
When it comes to stroke rehabilitation, it takes a dedicated team to help a person regain as much independence as possible: physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreation ...

Exercise improves memory, thinking after stroke, study finds

October 1, 2012
Just six months of exercise can improve memory, language, thinking and judgment problems by almost 50 per cent, says a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Provincial stroke strategy improves care for rural residents in Nova Scotia

October 1, 2012
Stroke patients in rural Nova Scotia receive better treatment and are less likely to end up in long-term care facilities than they were before the province's stroke strategy was rolled out in 2008, according to a study presented ...

Prevention measures needed to address major risk of falls after stroke

October 3, 2011
Almost 60 per cent of people who have a stroke experience one or more falls afterwards – most often in their own homes – and some are left with serious injuries, according to a study released today at the Canadian ...

Screening for post-stroke depression inadequate and inconsistent, study finds

October 1, 2012
Physicians are prescribing anti-depressants for stroke patients without first giving them a proper diagnosis, they are over-treating some patients, and overlooking others, according to a study presented today at the Canadian ...

Many emergency programs get failing grade when it comes to stroke training

October 1, 2012
Medical residents training to work in the emergency department need more formal stroke training, says a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress, noting that, as the first point of contact in stroke care, they ...

Recommended for you

How genes and environment interact to raise risk of congenital heart defects

October 19, 2017
Infants of mothers with diabetes have a three- to five-fold increased risk of congenital heart defects. Such developmental defects are likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. However, the molecular ...

Mouse studies shed light on how protein controls heart failure

October 18, 2017
A new study on two specially bred strains of mice has illuminated how abnormal addition of the chemical phosphate to a specific heart muscle protein may sabotage the way the protein behaves in a cell, and may damage the way ...

Newborns with trisomy 13 or 18 benefit from heart surgery, study finds

October 18, 2017
Heart surgery significantly decreases in-hospital mortality among infants with either of two genetic disorders that cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities, according to a new study by a researcher at the Stanford ...

Saving hearts after heart attacks: Overexpression of a gene enhances repair of dead muscle

October 17, 2017
University of Alabama at Birmingham biomedical engineers report a significant advance in efforts to repair a damaged heart after a heart attack, using grafted heart-muscle cells to create a repair patch. The key was overexpressing ...

Physically active white men at high risk for plaque buildup in arteries

October 17, 2017
White men who exercise at high levels are 86 percent more likely than people who exercise at low levels to experience a buildup of plaque in the heart arteries by middle age, a new study suggests.

High blood pressure linked to common heart valve disorder

October 17, 2017
For the first time, a strong link has been established between high blood pressure and the most common heart valve disorder in high-income countries, by new research from The George Institute for Global Health at the University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.