Effectiveness Of Physical Therapy On Mental Functions In Patients With Stroke

Effectiveness Of Physical Therapy 

Introduction

A stroke, or cerebral vascular accident, is a neurovascular event that occurs when blood supply to the brain is impaired either owing to a blood clot in microvessels or rupture of a vessel in the brain. Hypertension is the leading cause of cerebral stroke, followed by dyslipidemia. The incidence of non-fatal stroke has been found to be associated with depression and alcohol use. 

Stroke is considered the leading cause of disability and death. Patients with stroke have a substantial level of mental health comorbidities, resulting in a high cost for mental health care after stroke.6 Patients with comorbidities face many challenges in improving their health status and quality of life, and this is particularly true for patients with stroke, hypertension, depression, and anxiety.

The biopsychosocial model has been used to clarify that well-being is not only related to physical health but also to psychosocial health. Engaging in physical activity can improve the physical, psychological, and social health of normal individuals. People with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and various mental disorders can receive many benefits from physical activity. 

However, there is limited research addressing whether patients with recent stroke who have a previous history of anxiety and depression can benefit from treatment with physical therapy. Therefore, we aimed to determine the effects of physical therapy intervention on mental function in patients with stroke.

Methods 

This study was a single-center quasi-experimental study. The setting was an outdoor physical therapy and rehabilitation center. Patients who were previously diagnosed with anxiety and depression and who were pre-presented with hemiplegia owing to stroke at our clinic between 2016 and 2018 were included in this study. 

Sampling was purposive and the inclusion criteria were recent stroke and referral by a psychologist or psychiatrist with a history of anxiety, depression, or behavioral issues. In addition, patients of both sexes were included, aged between 37 and 60 years. Additional data, such as sociodemographic information, were extracted from the patient history and hospital records. 

Informed consent for treatment and details of the intervention was provided to the patient, a family member, or a caregiver prior to starting treatment. The appropriate institutional research board granted an ethical clearance certificate for this study.

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