Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is prevalent in the care home population. Whilst care home residents with stroke are likely to be more impaired and dependent than those with stroke residing in their own homes, they are less likely to receive ongoing stroke specialist rehabilitation such as occupational therapy. Occupational therapy aims to help people achieve their maximum level of independence in everyday activities. Evidence can be found to support the benefits of occupational therapy for community-dwelling stroke survivors. However, the care home population with stroke differs from the community-dwelling population. For example, they are more likely to have high levels of immobility, incontinence and confusion, along with other co-morbidities. This review of one trial including 118 participants found that evidence is currently insufficient to conclusively state the benefits of occupational therapy for care home residents with stroke. Additional randomised controlled trials that test occupational therapy interventions for care home residents with stroke are needed. One such trial is currently ongoing.
We found insufficient evidence to support or refute the efficacy of occupational therapy interventions for improving, restoring or maintaining independence in ADL for stroke survivors residing in care homes. The effectiveness of occupational therapy for the population of stroke survivors residing in care homes remains unclear, and further research in this area is warranted.
Stroke is a worldwide problem and is a leading cause of adult disability, resulting in dependency in activities of daily living (ADL) for around half of stroke survivors. It is estimated that up to 25% of all care home residents in the USA and in the UK have had a stroke. Stroke survivors who reside in care homes are likely to be more physically and cognitively impaired and therefore more dependent than those able to remain in their own home. Overall, 75% of care home residents are classified as severely disabled, and those with stroke are likely to have high levels of immobility, incontinence and confusion, as well as additional co-morbidities. It is not known whether this clinically complex population could benefit from occupational therapy in the same way as community-dwelling stroke survivors. The care home population with stroke differs from the general stroke population living at home, and a review was needed to examine the benefits of occupational therapy provided to this specific group. This review therefore focused on occupational therapy interventions for ADL for stroke survivors residing in care homes.
To measure the effects of occupational therapy interventions (provided directly by an occupational therapist or under the supervision of an occupational therapist) targeted at improving, restoring and maintaining independence in ADL among stroke survivors residing in long-term institutional care, termed collectively as 'care homes'. As a secondary objective, we aimed to evaluate occupational therapy interventions for reducing complications such as depression and low mood.
We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (August 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library, September 2012), MEDLINE (1948 to September 2012), EMBASE (1980 to September 2012), CINAHL (1982 to September 2012) and 10 additional bibliographic databases and six trials registers. We also handsearched seven journals, checked reference lists and obtained further information from individual trialists.
Randomised controlled trials investigating the impact of an occupational therapy intervention for care home residents with stroke versus standard care.
The lead review author performed all searches. Two review authors then independently assessed all titles and abstracts of studies and selected trials for inclusion, with a third review author resolving any discrepancies. The same two review authors independently extracted data from all included published sources to ensure reliability. Primary outcomes were performance in ADL at the end of scheduled follow-up and death or a poor outcome. Secondary outcomes aimed to reflect the domains targeted by an occupational therapy intervention.
We included in the review one study involving 118 participants. We found one ongoing study that also met the inclusion criteria for the review, but the data were not yet available.