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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2016, Article ID 9476541, 10 pages
Research Article

Promoting Optimal Physical Exercise for Life: An Exercise and Self-Management Program to Encourage Participation in Physical Activity after Discharge from Stroke Rehabilitation—A Feasibility Study

1Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, 550 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 2A2
2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, 500 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1V7
3Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5
4Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue W, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Received 30 October 2015; Revised 13 March 2016; Accepted 20 April 2016

Academic Editor: Wai-Kwong Tang

Copyright © 2016 Avril Mansfield et al. 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.


People with stroke do not achieve adequate levels of physical exercise following discharge from rehabilitation. We developed a group exercise and self-management program (PROPEL), delivered during stroke rehabilitation, to promote uptake of physical activity after discharge. This study aimed to establish the feasibility of a larger study to evaluate the effect of this program on participation in self-directed physical activity. Participants with subacute stroke were recruited at discharge from one of three rehabilitation hospitals; one hospital offered the PROPEL program whereas the other two did not (comparison group; COMP). A high proportion (11/16) of eligible PROPEL program participants consented to the study. Fifteen COMP participants were also recruited. Compliance with wearing an accelerometer for 6 weeks continuously and completing physical activity questionnaires was high (>80%), whereas only 34% of daily heart rate data were available. Individuals who completed the PROPEL program seemed to have higher outcome expectations for exercise, fewer barriers to physical activity, and higher participation in physical activity than COMP participants (Hedge’s ). The PROPEL program delivered during stroke rehabilitation shows promise for reducing barriers to exercise and increasing participation in physical activity after discharge. This study supports feasibility of a larger randomized trial to evaluate this program.