In a nutshell
This meta-analysis reviewed the effectiveness of occupational therapy for improving stroke patients' ability to perform daily takes independently. They concluded that patients who received occupational therapy were more independent than those who did not.
Stroke patients commonly experience physical and mental impairments. This can greatly impact their ability to perform daily tasks independently. Daily tasks include eating and drinking, dressing, personal hygiene and bathroom uses. Often times stroke patients need assistance for each of these tasks.
Occupational therapy is a type of therapy which aims to improve a stroke patients’ ability to carry out daily tasks. The therapy involves an assessment, followed by a program with environmental adaptations, assistive technology and adaptive techniques. The benefit of occupational therapy for stroke patients needs to be routinely assessed as therapy methods are updated over time.
Methods & findings
This meta-analysis aimed to determine the effectiveness of occupational therapy for improving a stroke patients’ ability to perform daily tasks. Nine studies were included, with a combined total of 994 patients.
Patients who received occupational therapy were more independent than those who did not. Patients who received occupational therapy were 29% less likely to have a poor outcome (dependent living or death) compared to those who did not. Occupational therapy did not affect mortality or mood.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that occupational therapy is beneficial for improving stroke patients’ ability to perform daily tasks. However, they advise that the evidence is insufficient and limited.
The fine print
The authors mention that the studies included did not always clearly describe the occupational therapy methods used. Further, more controlled studies are needed.
Discuss with your doctor whether occupational therapy may be of benefit in your situation.
Published By :
Cochrane database of systematic reviews
Jul 19, 2017