Stroke physical activity interventions are not consistently implemented across the entire stroke pathway of care. Most published studies are being carried out as a subset of physical activity; for a specific purpose e.g., improving strength rather than a change in long term lifestyle. The lack of implementation and variation in both reporting of and the terminology used in this evidence warranted further investigation into the content of physical activity interventions.
A scoping review was conducted to identify and describe available systematic review evidence on physical activity in the adult stroke population. Retrieval was limited to systematic reviews; within those reviews there were no restrictions on primary study design. Included reviews had been determined to be within the field of physical activity and included adults 18 years or older with a diagnosis of stroke.
There were 50 systematic reviews analysed. 33 of 36 reviews that reported ambulatory status were based on ambulant participants. The content of interventions is largely based on subsets of physical activity (n=31) where a measurement of physical activity is not consistent. In addition, a description of theories underpinning the interventions was lacking. Physical activity outcome measures were reported in 22 reviews. There is a lack of reporting and clarity in defining physical activity (n=11) and intervention dimensions and domains across the stroke pathway (including varying levels of physical capacities) and population demographics.
Better reporting of physical activity interventions is required to improve implementation. Research should include physical activity outcome measures across the stroke pathway. Determining which physical activity modes and parameters of each intervention would be useful in determining the optimal intervention for stroke survivors with different physical activity capacity levels.
Since the scoping review methodology was aimed at synthesising information from publicly available publications, this study did not require ethical approval.
- Physical Activity