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A national survey of evidence-based stroke rehabilitation intervention use in clinical practice among Canadian occupational therapists.

NeuroRehabilitation 2023 March 29
BACKGROUND: More than 1,000 randomized controlled trials have been published examining the effectiveness of stroke rehabilitation interventions.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore the use and non-use of evidence-based stroke rehabilitation interventions in clinical practice among Occupational Therapists across various stroke rehabilitation settings in Canada.

METHODS: Participants were recruited from medical centres providing rehabilitation to stroke patients in each of the ten provinces across Canada (January-July 2021). Adult (18 + years) Occupational Therapists who provide direct rehabilitative care to individuals after a stroke completed a survey in either English or French. Therapists rated their awareness, use, and reasons for non-use of stroke rehabilitation interventions.

RESULTS: 127 therapists (female = 89.8%), largely from Ontario or Quebec (62.2%) were included; most worked full-time (80.3%) in moderate-large (86.1%) cities. The greatest use of interventions were those applied to the body peripherally, without a technological component. Few individuals were aware of interventions applied to the brain (priming or stimulating) with a technological component, and they were rarely, if ever, used.

CONCLUSION: Significant efforts should be made to increase the awareness of interventions which are supported by strong evidence through knowledge translation and implementation initiatives, particularly for those with a technological component.

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