Objective: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of multidisciplinary care for stroke patients living in the community.
Data sources: Databases PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library from January 1980 until July 2012.
Study selection: Randomized controlled trials focused on multidisciplinary interventions for stroke patients living at home after hospitalization or inpatient rehabilitation were selected. The outcome domains were activities of daily living, social participation and quality of life. A total of 14 studies were included.
Data extraction: Two authors independently extracted the data and independently assessed the quality of reporting of the included studies using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement 2010.
Data synthesis: None of the studies showed favourable effects of the intervention on activities of daily living and none assessed social participation. Furthermore, two studies reported favourable effects of the intervention in terms of quality of life. These concerned an intervention combining assessment with follow-up care and a rehabilitation intervention.
Conclusion: There is little evidence for the effectiveness of multidisciplinary care for stroke patients being discharged home. Additional research should provide more insight into potentially effective multidisciplinary care for community-living stroke patients.