Moving stroke rehabilitation evidence into practice: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Bird, Marie-Louise, Miller, Tiev, Connell, Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0629-2919 and Eng, Janice (2019) Moving stroke rehabilitation evidence into practice: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Rehabilitation, 33 (10). pp. 1586-1595. ISSN 0269-2155

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To investigate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at moving research evidence into stroke rehabilitation practice through changing the practice of clinicians.

Data sources
EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane and MEDLINE databases were searched from 1980 to April 2019. International trial registries and reference lists of included studies completed our search.

Review methods
Randomized controlled trials that involved interventions aiming to change the practice of clinicians working in stroke rehabilitation were included. Bias was evaluated using Revman to generate a risk of bias table. Evidence quality was evaluated using GRADE criteria.

Sixteen trials were included (250 sites, 14,689 patients), evaluating a range of interventions including facilitation, audit and feedback, education, and reminders. Eleven studies included multicomponent interventions (using a combination of interventions). Four used educational interventions alone and one used electronic reminders. Risk of bias was generally low. Overall, the GRADE criteria indicated that this body of literature was low quality. This review found higher efficacy of trials which targeted fewer outcomes. Subgroup analysis indicated moderate level GRADE evidence (103 sites, 10,877 patients) that trials which included both site facilitation and tailoring for local factors were effective in changing clinical practice. The effect size of these varied (OR 1.63-4.9). Education interventions alone were not effective.

A large range of interventions are used to facilitate clinical practice change. Education is commonly used, but in isolation is not effective. Multicomponent interventions including facilitation and tailoring to local settings can change clinical practice and are more effective when targeting fewer changes.

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