Knowledge and use of Stroke Assessment Scales by Physiotherapists in selected Nigerian Health Institutions

Udoka Chris Okafor, Bridget N Birabi, A Okunuga

Abstract


Background & Objective: Stroke assessment scales are top among core British National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke that has been strongly advocated by the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party (ISWP). These clinical assessment measures have been studied for validity and reliability and have been in use globally by clinicians for over three decades. Knowledge and use of stroke scales by Physiotherapists in Nigeria will be a strong tool in improving the quality of care and life of stroke survivors. This study therefore sought to evaluate the level of knowledge, availability and utilization of stroke scales among Physiotherapists in Nigeria.

Methods: Two hundred (200), two-part, 18-item, self administered questionnaires were distributed to a convenient sample of Nigerian Physiotherapists practicing in urban and suburban hospitals spread over four out of six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. One hundred and eighty (180) respondents (90%) returned fully completed questionnaires.

Results: Of the 180 respondents, 66.7% had knowledge of stroke scales though only 28% claimed they were taught in their training institutions. Three types of scales were mainly available among 30.6% of respondents in their institutions of practice. However, 70% of these respondents to whom these scales were available do not utilize them mostly due to high patient load and time constraint in clinical setting. All participants (100%) desired knowledge and availability of the scales while 90% strongly agreed that stroke scales make the patient, essential part of goal setting and accelerates his re- integration into the society after stroke.

Conclusion: Knowledge of stroke assessment scales is low among Physiotherapists in Nigeria. Even among those who have knowledge of the scales, there is low availability and utilization in the treatment of stroke. Therefore, improvement in knowledge, availability and utilization of stroke assessment scales by Physiotherapists in Nigeria is imperative.

Keywords


Stroke Assessment Scales, Physiotherapy

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References


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