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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13345

Title: Potential role of tele-rehabilitation to address barriers to implementation of physical therapy among West African stroke survivors: A cross-sectional survey
Authors: Sarfo, Fred Stephen
Adamu, Sheila
Awuah, Dominic
Sarfo-Kantanka, Osei
Ovbiagele, Bruce
Keywords: Physical therapy
Barriers and facilitators
Functional independence
Stroke survivors
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Citation: Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 381 (2017) 203–208
Abstract: Background: The greatest burden from stroke-related disability is borne by Low-and-Middle Income countries (LMICs) where access to rehabilitation after stroke is severely challenged. Tele-rehabilitation could be a viable avenue to address unmet rehabilitation needs in LMICs. Objectives: To assess the burden of post-stroke physical deficits, rates of utilization of physiotherapy services, and perceptions of tele-rehabilitation among recent Ghanaian stroke survivors. Methods: Using a consecutive sampling strategy, 100 stroke survivors attending an outpatient Neurology clinic in a Ghanaian tertiary medical center were enrolled into this cross-sectional study. After collecting basic demographic data, clinical history on stroke type, severity and level of disability, we administered the validated 20- item Functional Independence Measure questionnaire to evaluate functional status of study participants and an 8-item questionnaire to assess participants' attitudes towards telemedicine administered rehabilitation intervention. Results: Mean ± SD age of study participants was 57.2 ± 13.3 years of which 51.0% were males with a mean duration of stroke of 1.3 ± 2.2 years. 53% had Modified Rankin scores of ≥3, 57% were fully independent and only 27% reported utilizing any physiotherapy services. Barriers to access to physiotherapy included financial constraints due to cost of physiotherapy services and transportation as well as premature discharge from physiotherapy to avoid overburdening of available physiotherapy services. These factors led to the limited provision of rehabilitative therapy. Participants held positive views of the potential for tele-rehabilitation interventions (80–93%). However, while 85% owned mobile phones, only 35% had smart phones. Conclusion: Despite, a high burden of residual disability, only about 1 out of 4 stroke patients in this Ghanaian cohort was exposed to post-stroke physiotherapy services, largely due to relatively high costs and limited health system resources. These Ghanaian stroke patients viewed the potential role of Tele-rehabilitation as positive, but this promising intervention needs to be formally tested for feasibility, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
Description: An article published in Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 381 (2017) 203–208
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13345
Appears in Collections:College of Health Sciences

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