Circuit class therapy versus individual physiotherapy sessions during inpatient stroke rehabilitation: a controlled trial.

C.K. English, S.L. Hillier, K.R. Stiller, A. Warden-Flood

The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of circuit class therapy and individual physiotherapy (PT) sessions in improving walking ability and functional balance for people recovering from stroke. It was a nonrandomized, single-blind controlled trial involving sixty-eight people receiving inpatient rehabilitation after a stroke. Participants received group circuit class therapy or individual treatment sessions as the sole method of PT service delivery for the duration of their inpatient stay. The main outcome measures were a five-meter walk test (5MWT), two-minute walk test (2MWT), and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) measured 4 weeks after admission. The authors found that participants in both groups showed significant improvements between admission and week 4 in all primary outcome measures. A significantly higher proportion of subjects in the circuit class therapy group were able to walk independently at discharge and were satisfied with the amount of therapy received. The authors concluded that circuit class therapy appeared as effective as individual PT sessions for this sample of subjects receiving inpatient rehabilitation post-stroke. Favourable results for circuit classes in terms of increased walking independence and patient satisfaction suggest this model of service delivery warrants further investigation.

Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2007, 88(8), 955-63

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