Stroke Rehab Program Drastically Increases Survival Rates, Study Finds
A study conducted at a rehabilitation institute in Edison, NJ has concluded that medically complex stroke survivors who completed a comprehensive but modified cardiac rehabilitation program were 76 percent less likely to die within a year compared to those who did not go through the program, reports McKnight’s.
The participants of the study were part of the ongoing Stroke-HEART trial and received 36 sessions of cardiovascular training under medical supervision. Additionally, they also received psychological, educational and nutritional support. They were also offered assistance with managing risk factors such as smoking, exercise and diet.
Out of the 500 stroke survivors, 246 successfully completed the program and in turn had a fourfold decrease in all-cause mortality at one year compared to those who did not participate in the program. Those who completed the program also had a 78 percent increase in their cardiac capacity which is a huge milestone for stroke survivors.
The study also informed how stroke patients can exercise safely with some modifications such as by using recumbent bicycles. This was especially important for those who had hemiplegia, where half of their body is paralyzed, due to the stroke.
These findings can help encourage the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to cover comprehensive stroke rehabilitation programs. Tayla Fleming, M.D., stated, “Stroke survivors deserve the same benefits that patients with cardiac disease receive. We should enable stroke survivors to function in the community at the highest level possible.”