Stroke rehabilitation at home before and after discharge reduced disability and improved quality of life: a randomised controlled trial

Clin Rehabil. 2016 Mar;30(3):225-36. doi: 10.1177/0269215515575165. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


Objective: To evaluate if home-based rehabilitation of inpatients improved outcome compared to standard care.

Design: Interventional, randomised, safety/efficacy open-label trial.

Setting: University hospital stroke unit in collaboration with three municipalities.

Subjects: Seventy-one eligible stroke patients (41 women) with focal neurological deficits hospitalised in a stroke unit for more than three days and in need of rehabilitation.

Interventions: Thirty-eight patients were randomised to home-based rehabilitation during hospitalization and for up to four weeks after discharge to replace part of usual treatment and rehabilitation services. Thirty-three control patients received treatment and rehabilitation following usual guidelines for the treatment of stroke patients.

Main measures: Ninety days post-stroke the modified Rankin Scale score was the primary endpoint. Other outcome measures were the modified Barthel-100 Index, Motor Assessment Scale, CT-50 Cognitive Test, EuroQol-5D, Body Mass Index and treatment-associated economy.

Results: Thirty-one intervention and 30 control patients completed the study. Patients in the intervention group achieved better modified Rankin Scale score (Intervention median = 2, IQR = 2-3; Control median = 3, IQR = 2-4; P=0.04). EuroQol-5D quality of life median scores were improved in intervention patients (Intervention median = 0.77, IQR = 0.66-0.79; Control median = 0.66, IQR = 0.56 - 0.72; P=0.03). The total amount of home-based training in minutes highly correlated with mRS, Barthel, Motor Assessment Scale and EuroQol-5D™ scores (P-values ranging from P<0.00001 to P=0.01). Economical estimations of intervention costs were lower than total costs of standard treatment.

Conclusion: Early home-based rehabilitation reduced disability and increased quality of life. Compared to standard care, home-based stroke rehabilitation was more cost-effective.

Keywords: Stroke; domiciliary rehabilitation; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / psychology
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome