Interventions for stroke rehabilitation: Analysis of the research contained in the OTseeker evidence database

Tammy Hoffmann*, Sally Bennett, Kryss McKenna, Julie Green-Hill, Annie McCluskey, Leigh Tooth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To analyse the stroke content in OTseeker in terms of the quantity of the research evidence, the quality of the randomised controlled trials (RCTs), and the types of interventions and outcome measures used. Method: A survey of stroke-related content in the OTseeker database was conducted in 2007. The year of publication and intervention categories used in each stroke-related RCT and systematic review (SR) were recorded. The internal validity of RCTs using the PEDro scale (partitioned) and the outcome measures used were also recorded. Results: Of the 4,369 articles indexed on OTseeker, 452 (10.3%) related to stroke were conducted between 1979 and 2006. The five most frequently studied intervention categories were movement training (43.2%), models of service delivery (31.2%), physical modalities/orthotics/splinting (30.1%), exercise/stretching/strength training (19.5%), and skill acquisition/training (9.3%). Random allocation (96.1%) was the most frequently satisfied internal validity criterion and therapist blinding (3.1%) was least often satisfied. The five most frequently used outcome measurement categories were basic and extended activities of daily living (70.1%), hand and upper limb function (56.1%), walking/gait (44.1%), movement/motor function (32.7%), and quality of life/general overall health (27.9%). Conclusion: The stroke-related content on OTseeker is useful for allied health professionals. This study highlights a need for better definitions of interventions and consensus about the best outcome measures. Few interventions or outcome measures were participation focused.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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