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Extending the Continuum of Care Poststroke: Creating a Partnership to Provide a Community-Based Wellness Program

Rose, Dorian K. PT, PhD; Schafer, Julie MPH, CPH, MCHES; Conroy, Christy MSPT

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: June 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 78–84
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0b013e3182941c37
Special Interest Articles
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Opportunities for individuals poststroke to continue to exercise once formal rehabilitation has ended are limited and in many cases do not exist. Given the incidence of recurrent stroke, and the known and important role exercise plays in reducing stroke risk factors, extending the continuum of care beyond outpatient and home health services to include life-long fitness opportunities for those living with poststroke disability is needed. This article first describes the creation of a partnership between a health care system and a local fitness center to provide an affordable, accessible, safe, community-based exercise program for individuals poststroke and the subsequent development of the flagship program. The second section of this article describes the program's current operations. This includes the referral process, the physical therapists' role in the program's structure and operation, and both program and participant outcomes. This article is intended to provide a roadmap for others who desire to extend the continuum of care for stroke survivors in their community so that these individuals may remain healthy in the presence of disability and reduce their risk for recurrent stroke.

Video Abstract available (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, for an overview of the Stroke Wellness Exercise Program.

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Florida, and Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Gainesville, Florida (D.K.R.); and Brooks Rehabilitation, Jacksonville, Florida (J.H., C.C.).

Correspondence: Dorian K. Rose, PT, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, PO Box 100154, Gainesville, FL 32610 (

This work was funded in part by the Brooks Community Health Foundation.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2013 Neurology Section, APTA