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The objective of this study was to develop and examine the effectiveness of an individual home rehabilitation program for patients with ischemic stroke. This was a randomized controlled trial in 60 patients with recent middle cerebral artery infarction. After hospital discharge for acute stroke care, they were randomly assigned to receive either a home rehabilitation program for three months (intervention group) or usual care (control group). We collected outcome data over three months after their discharge from the hospital. The Barthel Index (BI), the Modified Rankin Scale (MRS), the health-related quality-of-life index (EQ-5D), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression score (HADs), and the Thai Mental State Examination (TMSE) were used to analyze the outcomes. In the intervention group, all outcomes were significantly better (p<0.05) than in the control group, except in the case of TMSE. A favorable outcome, which was defined as minimal or no disability as measured by BI (score 95-100), was achieved by 93.33% of patients in the intervention group, and 90% had favorable scores (0 or 1) on the MRS. This showed a benefit in reducing disability, with two being the number of patients considered as needed-to-treat (NNT) (95% CI, 1.0-1.2). All dimensions of EQ-5D in the intervention group were significantly better for quality of life and generic health status than in the control group (p=0.001). Depression was found in one patient (3.33%) in the intervention group and in two patients (6.67%) in the control group. Dementia was found in three patients (10%) in the intervention group and in four patients (13.33%) in the control group. We concluded that an early home rehabilitation program for patients with ischemic stroke in the first three-month period provides significantly better outcomes in improving function, reducing disability, increasing quality of life, and reducing depression than a program of usual care does.
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