UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The effect of an enriched environment on activity levels in people with stroke in an acute stroke unit: protocol for a before-after pilot study Rosbergen, Ingrid C M; Grimley, Rohan S; Hayward, Kathryn S; Walker, Katrina C; Rowley, Donna; Campbell, Alana M; McGufficke, Suzanne; Robertson, Samantha T; Trinder, Janelle; Janssen, Heidi; Brauer, Sandra G


Background: Clinical practice guidelines advocate engaging stroke survivors in as much activity as possible early after stroke. One approach found to increase activity levels during inpatient rehabilitation incorporated an enriched environment (EE), whereby physical, cognitive, and social activity was enhanced. The effect of an EE in an acute stroke unit (ASU) has yet not been explored. Methods/design: We will perform a prospective non-randomized before-after intervention study. The primary aim is to determine if an EE can increase physical, social, and cognitive activity levels of people with stroke in an ASU compared to usual care. Secondary aims are to determine if fewer secondary complications and improved functional outcomes occur within an EE. We will recruit 30 people with stroke to the usual care block and subsequently 30 to the EE block. Participants will be recruited within 24–72 h after onset of stroke, and each block is estimated to last for 12 weeks. In the usual care block current management and rehabilitation within an ASU will occur. In the EE block, the ASU environment will be adapted to promote greater physical, social, and cognitive activity. Three months after the EE block, another 30 participants will be recruited to determine sustainability of this intervention. The primary outcome is change in activity levels measured using behavioral mapping over 12 h (7.30 am to 7.30 pm) across two weekdays and one weekend day within the first 10 days of admission. Secondary outcomes include functional outcome measures, adverse and serious adverse events, stroke survivor, and clinical staff experience. Discussion: There is a need for effective interventions that starts directly in the ASU. The EE is an innovative intervention that could increase activity levels in stroke survivors across all domains and promote early recovery of stroke survivors in the acute setting. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ANZCTN12614000679684

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