Self-management programmes for people post stroke: a systematic review

Clin Rehabil. 2013 Oct;27(10):867-78. doi: 10.1177/0269215513481045. Epub 2013 Mar 29.


Objective: To examine the evidence base underlying self-management programmes specific to stroke survivors.

Data sources: Eleven electronic databases were searched using combinations of keywords related to stroke and self-management.

Review methods: Studies involving adults with a clinical diagnosis of stroke, which explored self-management interventions, were included. Study selection was verified by two reviewers who independently conducted methodological quality appraisal and data extraction using a tool developed by The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine.

Results: Fifteen studies were included in this review. Significant treatment effects in favour of the self-management intervention were found in six out of nine randomized controlled trials, and three out of six non-randomized trials in our review. Four randomized controlled trials involving more than 100 participants per trial reported statistically significant results in favour of the self-management group in relation to measures of disability, confidence in recovery, the stroke specific quality of life (sub-scales of family roles and fine motor tasks), and the physical component scale of the short form SF-36 Score. The wide range of outcome measures used prevented comparison across studies.

Conclusions: This review provides some preliminary support for the potential importance of self-management interventions after stroke. The most appropriate content and best approach for delivery of these interventions remains to be determined. Further high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to test the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of stroke self-management programmes.

Keywords: Self-management; stroke; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*