Family-Mediated Therapy Improves Outcome of Stroke

In conjunction with regular therapy, family-mediated exercise improves recovery after stroke

MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- In addition to routine physical therapy, family-mediated exercise (FAME) therapy significantly improves patient recovery after an acute stroke, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Stroke.

Rose Galvin, Ph.D., of Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, and colleagues investigated the effect of FAME therapy on patient outcomes after an acute stroke. They randomized 40 stroke patients to either a control group that received regular therapy with no involvement of family members, or to a FAME group, which received family-mediated lower-limb therapy for eight weeks in addition to usual physical therapy. The main outcome measure was the modified lower-limb section of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment. Secondary outcomes, evaluated at baseline, post-intervention, and at three months follow-up, included measures of impairment, activity, and participation.

The researchers found that the FAME group experienced significant improvements compared to the control group in all measures of impairment and activity post-intervention. At the three-month follow-up, the improvements remained, but only improved walking remained statistically significant. Those who received the FAME intervention were also significantly more integrated into their community at follow-up. Family members in the FAME group also reported significantly less caregiver strain at follow-up compared with the control group.

"This evidence-based FAME intervention can serve to optimize patient recovery and family involvement after acute stroke at the same time as being mindful of available resources," the authors write.

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