Content » Vol 45, Issue 2

Original report

Gender and being born overseas influences the amount of acute stroke therapy

Luke Cosgrave , Julie Bernhardt, Leonid Churilov, Bent Indredavik, Toby Cumming
Stroke Division, Florey Neuroscience Institute, 3084 Melbourne, Australia
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1088


Objective: To identify patient factors that influence the amount, frequency and intensity of physical and occupational therapy received by patients each weekday within 14 days of stroke.
Design: Exploration of data from studies conducted to monitor activity and therapy.
Participants: Stroke patients receiving active treatment (not for palliative care). Physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Results: Therapy data for 274 patients from 7 hospitals were included. Patients received a median of 40. 0 min of therapy (physiotherapy plus occupational therapy) per weekday. Multivariable regression found that women had 22% less total therapy per weekday (factor change 0. 78, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0. 66–0. 9, p = 0. 001) and a decreased likelihood of receiving two or more sessions of therapy per weekday. Those born overseas had 23% less high intensity therapy per weekday (Factor change 0. 77, 95% CI: 0. 71–0. 84, p < 0. 001). Those with more severe stroke had a greater likelihood of receiving two or more sessions of therapy per weekday (OR = 1. 05, 95% CI: 1. 02–1. 09, p = 0. 006) but increasing severity increased the odds of receiving no high intensity therapy by 7% (factor change 1. 07, 95% CI: 1. 02–1. 11, p = 0. 002). Age did not exhibit a significant association.
Conclusion: There is some evidence that patient factors may influence the amount of therapy provided. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists should be aware of potential biases associated with therapy provision.

Lay Abstract


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