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Stroke. 2004 Sep;35(9):2226-32. Epub 2004 Jul 22.

Individual patient data meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of community occupational therapy for stroke patients.

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University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.



Trials of occupational therapy for stroke patients living in the community have varied in their findings. It is unclear why these discrepancies have occurred.


Trials were identified from searches of the Cochrane Library and other sources. The primary outcome measure was the Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living (NEADL) score at the end of intervention. Secondary outcome measures included the Barthel Index or the Rivermead ADL (Personal ADL), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), Nottingham Leisure Questionnaire (NLQ), and death. Data were analyzed using linear or logistic regression with a random effect for trial and adjustment for age, gender, baseline dependency, and method of follow-up. Subgroup analyses compared any occupational therapy intervention with control.


We included 8 single-blind randomized controlled trials incorporating 1143 patients. Occupational therapy was associated with higher NEADL scores at the end of intervention (weighted mean difference [WMD], 1.30 points, 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.47 to 2.13) and higher leisure scores at the end of intervention (WMD, 1.51 points; 95% CI, 0.24 to 2.79). Occupational therapy emphasizing activities of daily living (ADL) was associated with improved end of intervention NEADL (WMD, 1.61 points; 95% CI, 0.72 to 2.49) and personal activities of daily living (odds ratio [OR], 0.65; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.91), but not NLQ. Leisure-based occupational therapy improved end of intervention NLQ (WMD, 1.96 points; 95% CI, 0.27 to 3.66) but not NEADL or PADL.


Community occupational therapy significantly improved personal and extended activities of daily living and leisure activity in patients with stroke. Better outcomes were found with targeted interventions.

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