The study examined the effect of home-based thermotherapy combined with therapeutic exercise on muscle strength and depression in patients with ischemic stroke via a weekly evaluation over 4 weeks.
A quasi-experimental, pre-/posttest research design without a control group was employed. A total of 22 patients participated. Self-reported daily logs were used to evaluate intervention adherence over the study period. The manual muscle testing and Aphasic Depression Rating Scale were administered at baseline and weekly for 4 weeks.
Muscle strength in both the upper and lower limbs significantly increased (p < .05), whereas the depression score significantly decreased (p < .05).
The intervention increased muscle strength and decreased depression during the first 3 months after stroke onset. The significant effects were found beginning during the third week of the intervention.
This intervention is inexpensive and can be easily applied by caregivers at home.
1 Department of Nursing, Sint Carolus School of Health Sciences, Jakarta, Indonesia
2 Institute of Gerontology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
3 Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Correspondence: Hsing-Mei Chen, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1, University Road, East District, Tainan, 70101, Taiwan. E-mail: email@example.com
Cite this article as: Setiyowati, Y. D., Wang S.-T., & Chen H.-M. (2017). Thermotherapy combined with therapeutic exercise improves muscle strength and depression in patients with ischemic stroke. Rehabilitation Nursing, 00(0), 00-00. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000114