Implementation, Process, and Preliminary Outcome Evaluation of Two Community Programs for Persons with Stroke and Their Care Partners
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PURPOSE: This evaluation compared a new self-management program with land and water exercise (Moving On after STroke or MOST) to a standard education program (Living with Stroke or LWS). PARTICIPANTS: Of 30 persons with stroke (average age 68 and 2 years post stroke), 18 selected MOST and 12 chose LWS. Sixteen care partners participated. METHOD: Assessments at baseline, program completion, and 3-month follow-up included the Reintegration to Normal Living (RNL) Index, Activity-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale, exercise participation, and goal attainment (for the MOST group). Program delivery costs were calculated and focus groups conducted to examine participant expectations and experiences. RESULTS: Social support was an important benefit of both programs, but only MOST participants improved significantly on the RNL (p < .05) and ABC (p < .001). Seventy-eight percent of all short-term personal goals in MOST were achieved, and overall goal attainment was above the expected level. At follow-up, a higher percentage of MOST participants were enrolled in exercise programs (p < .05). CONCLUSION: Although self-management programs with exercise are more costly to deliver than standard educational programs, these preliminary results indicate that such programs may be more effective in helping persons with stroke and care partners deal with the challenges of living with stroke.