New Research Gives At Home Stroke Therapy Thumbs Up

  • Sharebar

Can You Save Money with Stroke Therapy at Home But Still Get Results?

According to a new study, a rigorous home-exercise program which emphasizes flexibility, strength and balance ended up being just as effective as high-tech treadmill machines.

The home-based program in addition enjoyed a lower price tag plus a lower drop-out rate than the treadmill option, which in fact had to be done at a clinic.

The research released in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine also found that patients keep making strides in rehabilitation much longer than the typical small windows of believed recovery that are so commonly held to be true (e.g. recovery only happens in the first 3 months after a stroke).

Inside the largest stroke rehabilitation research ever conducted in the us, researchers discovered that stroke patients regain walking ability through at-home strength and balance exercise provided by a physical therapist – and that method worked equally efficiently as when they took part in programs that practice the specific task of walking, by using a treadmill and partial body weight support.

“For individuals who have suffered a stroke, the findings of this trial offer good news for improving walking within the first year post-stroke through intense physical therapy interventions,” said Andrea Behrman, co-principal researcher and an associate professor inside the department of physical therapy at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions.

The Locomotor Experience Applied Post-Stroke, or LEAPS, trial involved in excess of four hundred patients who were at random , assigned to a treadmill training group two or half a year after their stroke or to a home-based therapy program. Primary funding for the study originated from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Patients within the walking training group practiced walking inside a clinic, utilizing a treadmill using a system that gives partial body-weight support, also known as locomotor training. The home-based exercise treatment method program was closely watched by a physical therapist and centered on flexibility, ability to move, strength and balance.

At the one-year mark, fifty-two percent of all of the study contributors had made significant improvements within their walking ability. Both the walking training and exercise program individuals had similar advancements in walking rate, motor recuperation, balance, social participation and quality of life.

But the home-based exercise program may save on health-care costs and promote treatment adherence: Only 3 percent of individuals in the home-based therapy dropped out of the study while 13 % ceased the locomotor training.

“The home physical therapy program is more convenient and pragmatic,” said Pamela W. Duncan, the study’s principal investigator and a professor at Duke University School of Medicine. “Usual care should incorporate more intensive exercise programs that are easily accessible to patients to improve walking, function and quality of life.”

The study staff found that patients within the group who began the therapy half a year after their stroke likewise enhanced their walking. This discovery challenges the widely held belief that patients are only able to make gains in their rehabilitation within the first few months of a stroke, the study say.

“More than 4 million stroke survivors experience difficulty walking. Rigorously comparing available physical therapy treatments is essential to determine which is best,” said Dr. Walter Koroshetz, deputy director of National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “The results of this study show that the more expensive, high-tech therapy was not superior to intensive home strength and balance training, but both were better than lower intensity physical therapy.”

This post is proudly brought to you by:

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!