The goal of this study was to examine the effect of a structured, comprehensive nursing intervention on the course of rehabilitation over the first 6 mos after a first-ever stroke.Design:
Intervention (experimental) study. The participants were 155 elderly stroke survivors who were admitted to a geriatric rehabilitation department. Stratified random sampling generated intervention and control groups. The intervention was designed to work together with the routine rehabilitation program and consisted of 12 consecutive weekly meetings. The control group received only the routine rehabilitation program. Study variables were measured at entry to study and after 3- and 6-mo intervals.Results:
Although there were no significant differences between the two groups at entry to study, at 3 and 6 mos after stroke, the intervention group showed better scores than the control group in functional status (FIM™ instrument), depression (Geriatric Depression Scale), self-perceived health, self-esteem, and dietary adherence.Conclusion:
The nursing intervention had both short- and long-term effects on functional, psychological, and emotional variables. Serious consideration should be given to implementing comprehensive nursing interventions during rehabilitation tailored to meet the specific needs of stroke survivors and their caregivers.