Evaluation of community based group exercise for stroke survivors

Purpose

To evaluate the effectiveness of a community based Exercise After Stroke Group (EASG) in patient outcomes and service delivery.

Approach

The participants of the EASG were recruited from the community neurotherapy team referral list following a screening assessment of contraindications. Data of participants from 4 groups were considered for this study. The maximum capacity of a single group was 8. They completed once a week supervised group exercises and unsupervised sessions at home for 8 weeks. The programme included warm up, circuit based exercises, cool down and education sessions to promote a healthy lifestyle and self-management. Comfortable and Fast gait speeds from the 10 Meter Walk Test (10MWTC and 10MWTF respectively), five repetition Sit To Stand test (5STS) and Visual Analogue Scale-Balance confidence (VASB) scores were collected before and after completion of the exercise program. Pre and post values were statistically analysed. The effectiveness of group activity on the service delivery of the community neuro therapy team is also summarised.

Outcomes

A total of 58 sessions were attended by 27 participants. 20 participants completed their post exercise outcome measures and were included for statistical analysis. The mean age (SD) of the participants were 66.63 (12.63) years. Average duration of the stroke at first session of the group was 54 days. The results were statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05) for all the outcome measures. The improvements in outcome measures were attributed to increased cardiovascular fitness and muscular adaptations.

Implications

A group based exercise programme is useful in improving gait speed and exercise capacity in stroke survivors.

These findings support group based exercises programme for stroke rehabilitation. This service model could be used by clinicians and commissioners in planning group based exercise programmes for stroke survivors.

Fund acknowledgements

This work was unfunded.

Additional notes

This work was presented at Physiotherapy UK 2018.