Article

Not all stroke units are the same - A comparison of physical activity patterns in Melbourne, Australia, and Trondheim, Norway

National Stroke Research Institute, Level 1, Neurosciences Building, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, 300 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg, 3081 Victoria, Australia.
Stroke (Impact Factor: 6.02). 07/2008; 39(7):2059-65. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.507160
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Very early mobilization may be one of the most important factors contributing to the favorable outcome observed from a stroke unit in Trondheim, Norway. The aims of this study were to (1) describe and compare the pattern of physical activity of patients with stroke managed in a stroke unit with specified mobilization protocols (Trondheim) and those without in Melbourne, Australia; and (2) identify differences in activity according to stroke severity between the 2 sites.
Melbourne patients were recruited from 5 metropolitan stroke units. Trondheim patients were recruited from the stroke unit at University Hospital, Trondheim. All patients <14 days poststroke were eligible for the study. Patients receiving palliative care were excluded. Consenting participants were observed at 10-minute intervals from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm over a single day. At each observation, patient location, activity, and the people present were recorded. Negative binomial regression analyses were undertaken to assess differences in physical activity patterns between stroke units in the 2 cities.
Patients in Melbourne and Trondheim had similar baseline characteristics. Melbourne patients spent 21% more time in bed and only 12.2% undertook moderate/high activity (versus 23.2% in Trondheim, P<0.001). This difference was even more pronounced among patients with greater stroke severity. The incidence rate ratio for time spent doing standing and walking activities in Melbourne was 0.44 (95% CI: 0.32 to 0.62) when compared with Trondheim.
Higher activity levels were observed in Trondheim patients, particularly among those with more severe strokes. A greater emphasis on mobilization may make an important contribution to improved outcome. Further investigation of this is warranted.

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