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Do empowered stroke patients perform better at self-management and functional recovery after a stroke? A randomized controlled trial

Authors Sit JW, Chair SY, Choi KC, Chan CW, Lee DT, Chan AW, Cheung JL, Tang SW, Chan PS, Taylor-Piliae RE

Received 30 March 2016

Accepted for publication 23 May 2016

Published 13 October 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1441—1450


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Zhi-Ying Wu

Janet WH Sit,1 Sek Ying Chair,1 Kai Chow Choi,1 Carmen WH Chan,1 Diana TF Lee,1 Aileen WK Chan,1 Jo LK Cheung,1 Siu Wai Tang,2 Po Shan Chan,2 Ruth E Taylor-Piliae3

1The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, 2Department of Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tung Wah Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong Hospital Authority, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China; 3College of Nursing, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Background: Self-management after a stroke is a challenge because of multifaceted care needs and complex disabling consequences that cause further hindrance to patient participation. A 13-week stroke patient empowerment intervention (Health Empowerment Intervention for Stroke Self-management [HEISS]) was developed to enhance patients’ ability to participate in self-management.
Purpose: To examine the effects of the empowerment intervention on stroke patients’ self-efficacy, self-management behavior, and functional recovery.
Methods: This is a single-blind randomized controlled trial with stroke survivors assigned to either a control group (CG) receiving usual ambulatory rehabilitation care or the HEISS in addition to usual care (intervention group [IG]). Outcome data were collected at baseline (T0), 1 week (T1), 3 months (T2), and 6 months (T3) postintervention. Data were analyzed on the intention-to-treat principle. The generalized estimating equation model was used to assess the differential change of self-efficacy in illness management, self-management behaviors (cognitive symptom management, communication with physician, medication adherence, and self-blood pressure monitoring), and functional recovery (Barthel and Lawton indices) across time points (baseline = T0, 1 week = T1, 3 months = T2, and 6 months = T3 postintervention) between the two groups.
Results: A total of 210 (CG =105, IG =105) Hong Kong Chinese stroke survivors (mean age =69 years, 49% women, 72% ischemic stroke, 89% hemiparesis, and 63% tactile sensory deficit) were enrolled in the study. Those in IG reported better self-efficacy in illness management 3-month (P=0.011) and 6-month (P=0.012) postintervention, along with better self-management behaviors at all follow-up time points (all P<0.05), apart from medication adherence (P>0.05). Those in IG had significantly better functional recovery (Barthel, all P<0.05; Lawton, all P<0.001), compared to CG. The overall dropout rate was 16.7%.
Conclusion: Patient empowerment intervention (HEISS) may influence self-efficacy in illness management and improve self-management behavior and functional recovery of stroke survivors. Furthermore, the HEISS can be conducted in parallel with existing ambulatory stroke rehabilitation services and provide added value in sustaining stroke self-management and functional improvement in the long term.

Keywords: self-management, patient empowerment, stroke, rehabilitation, functional recovery, activities of daily living

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