Cardiovascular stress during a contemporary stroke rehabilitation program: Is the intensity adequate to induce a training effect?


      MacKay-Lyons MJ, Makrides L. Cardiovascular stress during a contemporary stroke rehabilitation program: is the intensity adequate to induce a training effect? Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002;83:1378-83. Objectives: To investigate the level of cardiovascular stress of physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) sessions of a contemporary stroke rehabilitation program and to identify therapeutic activities that elicit heart rate responses adequate to induce a training effect. Design: A descriptive, longitudinal study with heart rate and activity monitoring of PT and OT sessions at biweekly intervals, 2 to 14 weeks poststroke. Setting: An acute inpatient stroke unit and inpatient and outpatient stroke rehabilitation units. Participants: A consecutive sample of 20 patients with ischemic stroke who participated in inpatient and outpatient stroke rehabilitation. Intervention: Observation of routine PT and OT sessions for patients poststroke without influencing the extent and content of the sessions. Main Outcome Measure: Time per session in which heart rate was within the calculated target heart rate zone. Results: Time per PT session spent in target heart rate zone was low (2.8±0.9min), and per OT session was negligible (0.7±0.2min) over the course of rehabilitation. Conclusions: The PT and OT sessions between 2 and 14 weeks poststroke did not elicit adequate cardiovascular stress to induce a training effect. © 2002 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


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