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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 438679, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Physical Activity Patterns of Acute Stroke Patients Managed in a Rehabilitation Focused Stroke Unit

1School of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia
2Physiotherapy Department, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA 6000, Australia
3Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, VIC 3084, Australia

Received 29 April 2013; Accepted 22 July 2013

Academic Editor: Jacob J. Sosnoff

Copyright © 2013 Tanya West and Julie Bernhardt. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Comprehensive stroke unit care, incorporating acute care and rehabilitation, may promote early physical activity after stroke. However, previous information regarding physical activity specific to the acute phase of stroke and the comprehensive stroke unit setting is limited to one stroke unit. This study describes the physical activity undertaken by patients within 14 days after stroke admitted to a comprehensive stroke unit. Methods. This study was a prospective observational study. Behavioural mapping was used to determine the proportion of the day spent in different activities. Therapist reports were used to determine the amount of formal therapy received on the day of observation. The timing of commencement of activity out of bed was obtained from the medical records. Results. On average, patients spent 45% (SD 25) of the day in some form of physical activity and received 58 (SD 34) minutes per day of physiotherapy and occupational therapy combined. Mean time to first mobilisation out of bed was 46 (SD 32) hours post-stroke. Conclusions. This study suggests that commencement of physical activity occurs earlier and physical activity is at a higher level early after stroke in this comprehensive stroke unit, when compared to studies of other acute stroke models of care.