Orthostatic Tolerance Training of Stroke Patients in General Medical Wards. An Experimental Study
K H Asberg
Department of Internal Medicine, Enköping Hospital, Sweden
In order to initiate early activation and counteract the negative effects of bed rest, 71 patients acutely admitted to hospital with a confirmed stroke were randomized to either training or control wards. Sixty-three persons participated in a first orthostatic tolerance test on days 5-7 after admission, which was replicated on days 10-12. A third test was performed three months later. Regular stand-ups were initiated on days 1-2 after admission to hospital and were continued for 1-2 weeks. The trained group had a lower increase in heart rate during tilting and a lower proportion of severely disabled patients on days 5-7 compared with the control group. This difference was statistically significant but cannot be proved to be a result from the regular stand-ups. Still, this minimum type of early activation can be recommended for acute stroke patients, mainly those with a cerebral infarction, who are able to cooperate with the nursing staff.
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