Circuit class therapy or seven-day week therapy for increasing rehabilitation intensity of therapy after stroke (CIRCIT): A randomized controlled trial

Coralie English, Julie Bernhardt, Maria Crotty, Adrian Esterman, Leonie Segal, Susan Hillier

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    Background: Increased therapy has been linked to improvements in functional ability of people with stroke. Aim: To determine the effectiveness of two alternative models of increased physiotherapy service delivery (seven-day week therapy or group circuit class therapy five days a week) to usual care. Method: Three-armed randomized controlled trial with blinded assessment of outcome. People admitted with a diagnosis of stroke, previously independently ambulant and with a moderate level of disability were recruited. 'Usual care' was individual physiotherapy provided five-days a week. Seven-day week therapy was usual care physiotherapy provided seven-days a week. Participants in the circuit class therapy arm of the trial received physiotherapy in group circuit classes in two 90-min sessions, five-days a week. Primary outcome was distance walked on the six-minute walk test at four-weeks post-randomization. Results: Two hundred eighty-three participants were randomized; primary outcome data were available for 259 (92%). In the seven-day arm participants received an additional three hours of physiotherapy and those in the circuit class arm an additional 22h. There were no significant between-group differences at four-weeks in walking distance (P=0·72). Length of stay was shorter for seven-day (mean difference -2·9 days, 95% confidence interval -17·9 to 12·0) and circuit class participants (mean difference -9·2 days, 95% confidence interval -24·2 to 5·8) compared to usual care, but this was not significant. Conclusions: Both seven-day therapy and group circuit class therapy increased physiotherapy time, but walking outcomes were equivalent to usual care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)594-602
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jun 2015


    • Circuit class therapy
    • Physiotherapy
    • Rehabilitation
    • Stroke recovery
    • Task practice
    • Weekend therapy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neurology

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