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Increasing delivery of an outdoor journey intervention to people with stroke: A feasibility study involving five community rehabilitation teams

Author(s): McCluskey Annie | Middleton Sandy

Journal: Implementation Science
ISSN 1748-5908

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Contrary to recommendations in a national clinical guideline, baseline audits from five community-based stroke rehabilitation teams demonstrated an evidence-practice gap; only 17% of eligible people with stroke were receiving targeted rehabilitation by occupational therapists and physiotherapists to increase outdoor journeys. The primary aim of this feasibility study was to design, test, and evaluate the impact of an implementation program intended to change the behaviour of community rehabilitation teams. A secondary aim was to measure the impact of this change on client outcomes. Methods A before-and-after study design was used. The primary data collection method was a medical record audit. Five community rehabilitation teams and a total of 12 professionals were recruited, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and a therapy assistant. A medical record audit was conducted twice over 12 months (total of 77 records pre-intervention, 53 records post-intervention) against a guideline recommendation about delivering outdoor journey sessions to people with stroke. A behavioural intervention (the 'Out-and-About Implementation Program') was used to help change team practice. Active components of the intervention included feedback about the audit, barrier identification, and tailored education to target known barriers. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of medical records containing evidence of multiple outdoor journey sessions. Other outcomes of interest included the proportion of medical records that contained evidence of screening for outdoor journeys and driving by team members, and changes in patient outcomes. A small sample of community-dwelling people with stroke (n = 23) provided pre-post outcome data over three months. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and t-tests. Results Medical record audits found that teams were delivering six or more outdoor journeys to 17% of people with stroke pre-intervention, rising to 32% by 12 months post-intervention. This change represents a modest increase in practice behaviour (15%) across teams. More people with stroke (57%) reported getting out of the house as often as they wanted after receiving the outdoor journey intervention compared to 35% one year earlier; other quality of life outcomes also improved. Conclusions The 'Out-and-About Implementation Program' helped rehabilitation teams to change their practice, implement evidence, and improve client outcomes. This behavioural intervention requires more rigorous evaluation using a cluster randomised trial design.
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