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A treatment schedule of conventional physical therapy provided to enhance upper limb sensorimotor recovery after stroke: Expert criterion validity and intra-rater reliability

Abstract

Background

Inadequate description of treatment hampers progress in stroke rehabilitation.

Objective

To develop a valid, reliable, standardised treatment schedule of conventional physical therapy provided for the paretic upper limb after stroke.

Design, setting and participants

Eleven neurophysiotherapists participated in the established methodology: semi-structured interviews, focus groups and piloting a draft treatment schedule in clinical practice. Different physiotherapists (n=13) used the treatment schedule to record treatment given to stroke patients with mild, moderate and severe upper limb paresis. Rating of adequacy of the treatment schedule was made using a visual analogue scale (0 to 100mm). Mean (95% confidence interval) visual analogue scores were calculated (expert criterion validity). For intra-rater reliability, each physiotherapist observed a video tape of their treatment and immediately completed a treatment schedule recording form on two separate occasions, 4 to 6 weeks apart. The Kappa statistic was calculated for intra-rater reliability.

Results

The treatment schedule consists of a one-page A4 recording form and a user booklet, detailing 50 treatment activities. Expert criterion validity was 79 (95% confidence interval 74 to 84). Intra-rater Kappa was 0.81 (P<0.001).

Conclusion

This treatment schedule can be used to document conventional physical therapy in subsequent clinical trials in the geographical area of its development. Further work is needed to investigate generalisability beyond this geographical area.

Cite this article

A treatment schedule of conventional physical therapy provided to enhance upper limb sensorimotor recovery after stroke: Expert criterion validity and intra-rater reliability Catherine Donaldson, Raymond C. Tallis, Valerie M. Pomeroy Physiotherapy - June 2009 (Vol. 95, Issue 2, Pages 110-119, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2008.11.005)

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