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M.E.L. van den Berg, M. Crotty

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2014;3(1):47-50

Background: Decline in mobility is commonly observed following stroke. Reducing the impact of stroke is key to the maintainance of functional independence. Objectives: To determine the acceptability and adherence of a water-based exercise program post-stroke. Design: A single-blind randomised controlled pilot study with masked outcome assessment. Setting: Rehabilitation Unit, Adelaide, South Australia. Participants: 22 community-dwelling older people e living with strokes (6 months-3 years post-stroke). Intervention: Subjects were randomized to either: a six-week water-based intervention group (WG), thrice-weekly; a six-week gym-based intervention group (GG), thrice-weekly; or a six-week chronic disease self-management course (CG), once-weekly. Measurements: Assessments took place at baseline, post-intervention and at 3 months follow-up. Primary outcome measures was the 6-minute walk test. Secondary outcomes were measures of balance, body composition, cognition, ADL, goal attainment, quality of life, sleep and fatigue. Results: Recruitment was difficult with only 20% of those approached meeting entry criteria and consenting. A larger increase in walking speed and reduced use of walking aids post-intervention was observed in the WG, however, differences between groups were not significant. No between-group differences were found for any secondary outcomes. The average attendance rate was 90% (n=6). Conclusion: Subjects tolerated the moderate to high intensity water-based exercise program and adherance was good. Although we can not draw firm conclusions due to study completion failure the results suggest that a relatively short program of water-based exercise in stroke survivors is safe and feasible and can improve functional mobility. Hydrotherapy can be delivered with minimal supervision and a well powered trial is needed to assess the effects in chronic stroke patients

M.E.L. van den Berg ; M. Crotty (2014): WATER-BASED EXERCISE FOLLOWING STROKE: A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED PILOT STUDY. The Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice (JARCP). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jarcp.2014.10

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