Actual vs best practice for families post-stroke according to three rehabilitation disciplines.

Rochette A, Korner-Bitensky N, Desrosiers J

The objective of this study was to investigate occupational therapists', physiotherapists' and speech language pathologists' family-related rehabilitation practice post-stroke and its association with clinician and environmental variables. A telephone survey was conducted on 1755 clinicians. Three case studies describing typical patients after stroke receiving acute care, in-patient rehabilitation, or community rehabilitation, and including specific descriptors regarding family stress and concern, were used to elicit information on patient management. One-third of the sample identified a family-related problem and offered a related intervention, but only 12/1755 clinicians indicated that they would typically use a standardized assessment of family functioning. Working in the community out-patient setting was associated, whereas working in a rehabilitation in-patient setting was negatively associated with being a problem identifier. Being a PT or an SLP vs an OT was negatively associated with being a problem identifier.  The authors conclude that for these 3 disciplines, the prevalence of a family-related focus is low post-stroke. Given the increasing evidence regarding the effectiveness of family-related interventions on stroke outcomes, it is imperative that best practice is implemented.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2007, 39(7), 513-9.

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