To describe the time use of patients with stroke in five Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) in the Netherlands, focusing on the time spent on therapeutic activities, nontherapeutic activities, interaction with others, and the location where the activities took place.
Evidence suggest that task-oriented interventions are the most effective for patients with stroke and that some of these interventions are relevant and feasible for use by nurses. The question arises to what extent elderly patients who had a stroke and rehabilitate in a SNF receive therapeutic training and engage in therapeutic activities.
Descriptive, observational design. Therapeutic and nontherapeutic activities of patients were observed at 10-minute intervals during one weekday (8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) using behavioral mapping.
Forty-two patients with stroke with a mean age of 76 years participated in the study. The patients spent 56% of the day on therapeutic activities, whereas 44% of the day was spent on nontherapeutic activities. Most therapeutic time was spent on nursing care (9%) and physical therapy (4%). Patients stayed an average 41% of the day in their own room and were alone 49% of the day. Therapeutic time use was significantly related to improved functional status, patients with higher functional status spent more time on therapeutic activities.
Patients spent more than half of the day on therapeutic activities.
Nurses are faced with the challenge of activating patients with stroke and to assist them to engage in purposeful task-oriented exercises including daily activities. Thereby better rehabilitation results and recovery of patients may be reached.