STRENGTH and the Health Care Team: Changing Interprofessional and Client-Centered Practices.

Research paper by Louise L Gustafsson, Jennifer J Fleming, Petrea P Cornwell, Linda L Worrall, Sandra S Brauer

Indexed on: 25 Oct '14Published on: 25 Oct '14Published in: Topics in stroke rehabilitation


Client-centered practice in stroke rehabilitation is strongly influenced by interprofessional team functioning and collaborative goal setting. The hospital context is problematic for client-centered practice and reduces the ability of the health care team and client with stroke to appreciate the impact of stroke on functioning within the home environment.The purpose of this study was to trial Stroke Rehabilitation Enhancing and Guiding Transition Home (STRENGTH), an approach to rehabilitation that provides clients, carers, and hospital-based therapists with weekly opportunities to develop goals and undertake therapy sessions in the home and community before hospital discharge.Nine participants, comprising 3 occupational therapists, 4 physiotherapists, and 2 speech pathologists, completed a custom-made survey and participated in a semi-structured focus group at the completion of the 6-month trial of STRENGTH. The survey and focus group questioned the participants on their experiences and impressions of STRENGTH.Inductive thematic analysis of the focus group identified 2 themes: "influences of context on team functioning" and "experiences of the program." The quantitative data supported the value of STRENGTH for team functioning and client outcomes.The findings provide an overall endorsement for STRENGTH from the therapists' perspectives and highlight the positive impact of environmental context on team functioning, collaborative goal setting, and ultimately client-centered practice.