Group therapy task training versus individual task training during inpatient stroke rehabilitation: a randomised controlled trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To compare the efficacy of intensive daily applied progressive group therapy task training with equally dosed individual progressive task training on self-reported mobility for patients with moderate to severe stroke during inpatient rehabilitation.

Design:

Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Setting:

In-patient rehabilitation center.

Subjects:

A total of 73 subacute patients with stroke who were not able to walk without physical assistance at randomisation.

Interventions:

Patients were allocated to group therapy task training (GT) or individual task training (IT). Both interventions were intended to improve walking competency and comprised 30 sessions of 90 minutes over six weeks.

Main measures:

Primary outcome was the mobility domain of the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS-3.0). Secondary outcomes were the other domains of SIS-3.0, standing balance, gait speed, walking distance, stair climbing, fatigue, anxiety and depression.

Results:

No adverse events were reported in either arm of the trial. There were no significant differences between groups for the SIS mobility domain at the end of the intervention (Z= −0.26, P = 0.79). No significant differences between groups were found in gait speed improvements (GT:0.38 ±0.23; IT:0.26±0.35), any other gait related parameters, or in non-physical outcomes such as depression and fatigue.

Conclusion:

Inpatient group therapy task training for patients with moderate to severe stroke is safe and equally effective as a dose-matched individual task training therapy. Group therapy task training may be delivered as an alternative to individual therapy or as valuable adjunct to increase time spent in gait-related activities.

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