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J Neurol Sci. 2018 Apr 15;387:94-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2018.01.039. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Pilot trial of a tele-rehab intervention to improve outcomes after stroke in Ghana: A feasibility and user satisfaction study.

Author information

1
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana. Electronic address: fsarfo.chs@knust.edu.gh.
2
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.
3
Medical University of South Carolina, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tele-rehabilitation after stroke holds promise for under-resourced settings, especially sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with its immense stroke burden and severely limited physical therapy services.

OBJECTIVE:

To preliminarily assess the feasibility and outcomes of mobile technology-assisted physical therapy exercises for stroke survivors in Ghana.

METHODS:

We conducted a prospective, single arm, pre-post study involving 20 stroke survivors recruited from a tertiary medical center, who received a Smartphone with the 9zest Stroke App® to deliver individualized, goal-targeted 5-days-a-week exercise program that was remotely supervised by a tele-therapist for 12 weeks. Outcome measures included changes in stroke levity scale scores (SLS), Modified Rankin score (MRS), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA), and feasibility indicators.

RESULTS:

Among study participants, mean ± SD age was 54.6 ± 10.2 years, 11 (55%) were men, average time from stroke onset was 6 months. No participants dropped out. Compared with baseline status, mean ± SD scores on SLS improved from 7.5 ± 3.1 to 11.8 ± 2.2 at month 1 (p < 0.0001) and 12.2 ± 2.4 at month 3 (p < 0.0001), MOCA scores improved from 18.2 ± 4.3 to 20.4 ± 4.7 at month 1 (p = 0.14), and 22.2 ± 7.6 at month 3 (p = 0.047). Mean ± SD weekly sessions performed by participants per month was 5.7 ± 5.8 and duration of sessions was 25.5 ± 16.2 min. Erratic internet connectivity negatively affected full compliance with the intervention, although satisfaction ratings by study participants were excellent.

CONCLUSION:

It is feasible to administer an m-health delivered physical therapy intervention in SSA, with high user satisfaction. Randomized trials to assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this intervention are warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Disability; Feasibility; Ghana; M-health; Post-stroke rehabilitation; Resource-limited; Stroke survivors; Tele-rehabilitation

PMID:
29571880
PMCID:
PMC5868410
DOI:
10.1016/j.jns.2018.01.039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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