Functional recovery after stroke in Benin: A six-month follow-up study
Oyéné Kossi, Charles Sèbiyo Batcho, Thierry Adoukonou, Jean-Louis Thonnard
Institute of Neuroscience, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
Objective: Stroke is a major public health problem in developing countries. However, few studies have quantified the functional recovery of stroke patients in sub-Saharan Africa. This study examined the functional recovery of stroke patients in the Republic of Benin.
Methods: A total of 68 patients with acute stroke were recruited from hospitals and health centres in Benin. Patients were evaluated at enrolment and 1, 3 and 6 months post-stroke. The ACTIVLIM-Stroke scale, Barthel Index, and modified Rankin Scale were used to assess activity limitations, functional autonomy, and overall level of disability, respectively.
Results: Over the 6-month follow-up period, 18 patients died and 9 dropped out. Overall, the 3 measures highlighted progressive and significant functional recovery during the first 6 months. At enrolment, the mean score on ACTIVLIM-Stroke was 16% (standard deviation (SD) 9), indicating that patients were almost totally dependent and unable to perform most activities of daily living. At 6 months, the mean score for activity limitation reached 67% (SD 15) and most patients were able to perform some basic tasks easily. Patients had difficulty with tasks requiring walking and remained unable to perform certain activities requiring manual dexterity.
Conclusion: The study sample showed significant functional recovery (~50%) during the first 6 months post-stroke. We recommend the integration of group-based brisk walking into a cost-effective rehabilitation programme as a suitable way to increase functional recovery of chronic stroke patients in sub-Saharan Africa after hospital discharge.
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