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Background: Rehabilitation is a mandatory component of stroke management, aiming to recover functional capacity and independence. To that end, physical therapy sessions must involve adequate intensity in terms of cardiopulmonary stress to meet the physiological demands of independent living.
Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to determine the current level of cardiopulmonary strain during rehabilitation sessions in stroke patients.
Methods: Three electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL and Embase.com) were searched to identify observational studies that documented cardiopulmonary strain during rehabilitation sessions in post-stroke patients (last search performed in February 2019). A manual cross-referencing search was also performed. To be included, articles needed to report data related to both cardiopulmonary strain (heart rate, oxygen consumption or energy expenditure) and active therapy time. The methodological quality of each study was assessed with the Evidence-Based Librarianship Critical Appraisal Tool. Data related to both cardiorespiratory strain and active therapy time were extracted from selected articles.
Results: Four of 43 full-text articles assessed for eligibility met the inclusion criteria. Results extracted from these articles suggested that the intensity of rehabilitation sessions was insufficient to induce a cardiopulmonary training effect in a post-stroke context as measured by metabolic stress. Patients were inactive from 21% to 80% of the therapy time. The Evidence-Based Librarianship tool scores ranged from 65% (15/23) to 91% (21/23), which indicates questionable to good quality.
Conclusion: The current literature on cardiopulmonary solicitation during stroke rehabilitation sessions is poor in terms of both the number of studies available and their methodological quality. Summarized results tend to support previous claims that rehabilitation sessions offered to stroke patients are of suboptimal cardiopulmonary strain, which can interfere with their capacity to regain functional independence.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : stroke rehabilitation, cardiorespiratory fitness, heart rate, VO2max, active time