PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of rehabilitation on disability and quality of life (QoL) in patients with chronic stroke. Research design: This is an observational, prospective and multidimensional study. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Sixty-six consecutive inpatients were enrolled. A rehabilitation programme of 2 months consisting of six exercise periods per week was performed. An impairment of cognitive function was the exclusion criteria for patient enrolment. MAIN OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: European Stroke Scale, Barthel Index, Modified Rankin Scale, Deambulation Index and SF-36 were performed both before and after rehabilitation. A short-term follow-up (2 months after discharge) was performed by phone administration of SF-36. Significant improvement in clinical and disability measurements was observed after rehabilitation. For QoL, a significant improvement was observed both in physical function and in social function immediately after rehabilitation. At follow-up the social function improvement was maintained, while physical function improvement was lost. CONCLUSIONS: The data show that rehabilitation in patients with chronic stroke lessens disability and improves physical and social function and that repeated cycles of treatment are needed to maintain the level of improvement reached.
- quality of life