Influence of community rehabilitation services on community reintegration and health utilization after stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in adults, and community reintegration is the pivotal outcome of successful rehabilitation.

Physical and cognitive impairments after stroke impact reintegration of patients into the community and place a burden on caregivers. The current system seeks to address this with health care services aimed at improving physical and cognitive functioning, as well as providing access to information and resources to facilitate improvement. These services are costly, and it is not known if such services benefit community reintegration or could potentially reduce the usage and cost of other health and social services.

The primary purpose of this study is to determine the impact of rehabilitation services on community reintegration and health after stroke.

This study will include 100 community-dwelling stroke patients and their caregivers. They will be assessed at several timepoints following stroke, and the hours and type of community rehabilitation services will be documented within this 12-month period. We will use the framework from the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning to assess impairments and activity. We will compare the extent of the use and cost of health and social services, community services, and medications used by the patient with their degree of community reintegration.

The study protocol has been reviewed and approved by the local Clinical Research Ethics Board.

The results from this research could help to inform the effective delivery of health care services for stroke survivors.