Occupational therapy intervention for residents with stroke living in UK care-homes

After dementia, a stroke is the most common health issue for people living in care homes. Stroke survivors admitted to care homes experience different levels of disability with varying degrees of mobility, ability to communicate and carry out every day self-care activities. For care home residents, rehabilitation, particularly occupational therapy is not readily accessible in the UK.

A previous pilot study found that occupational therapy may be useful in helping people to maintain their level of mobility and help their overall health.

For the trial, care homes in the West Midlands, South and East Birmingham, Bangor, Devon, Portsmouth, Nottingham and Preston areas were randomly selected. Half were provided with access to a three month course of individualised occupational therapy delivered by Occupational Therapists. To measure the outcome of the intervention, individual assessments of day to day activity, mobility and general health were compared between those who had received treatment from Occupational Therapists and those that had not.

The findings from the trial showed that a three month direct intervention by an Occupational Therapist did not have an impact on participants’ level of functional activity and found no evidence of any influence on an individual’s mood, mobility or general health. This was in line with the findings from other recently published large randomised control trials conducted in care homes.

Chief Investigator Professor Catherine Sackley said: “The evidence presented here does not support the use of a routine occupational therapy intervention to maintain levels of functional activity for older care home residents with stroke related disabilities. However, it may be the case that individual referrals within a care home setting may be of benefit to residents with lower levels of impairment”

Read the article in the BMJ or view the project page.

More articles     Posted on: 05 March 2015