Original Research

Evaluation of a stroke rehabilitation training programme for community-based primary healthcare

Elsje Scheffler, Robert Mash
African Journal of Disability | Vol 12 | a1137 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1137 | © 2023 Elsje Scheffler, Robert Mash | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2022 | Published: 08 September 2023

About the author(s)

Elsje Scheffler, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Robert Mash, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Family caregiver training is an integral part of stroke rehabilitation programmes and is associated with improved caregiver and stroke survivor outcomes. In the Cape Winelands District, a low-resourced rural community-based setting in South Africa, stroke survivors and family caregivers mostly rely on assistance from community health workers (CHWs), despite their lack of stroke-specific rehabilitation training.

Objectives: To evaluate the implementation and immediate effects of a bespoke, 16 session, 21 h stroke rehabilitation training programme for CHWs to better support family caregivers.

Methods: Two cooperative inquiry groups participated in participatory action research to design and develop the programme. This article reports on the implementation of this programme. Inquiry group members directly observed the training, obtained written and verbal feedback, interviewed CHWs and observed them in the community. Consensus on their learning was achieved after reflection on their experience and observations.

Results: Learning of the cooperative inquiry groups was categorised into the effect on community-based care, the training programme’s design and development, how training was delivered and implications for service delivery. Community health workers empowered caregivers and stroke survivors and enabled access to care, continuity, coordination and person-centredness. The need for experiential learning and a spiral curriculum was confirmed. Therapists needed a different set of skills to deliver training. A systems approach and effective leadership were needed to enable community health workers to use their new skills.

Conclusion: The stroke rehabilitation training programme demonstrated potential for integration into service delivery and equipping CHWs to support family caregivers and stroke survivors. Further evaluation of the programme’s effectiveness and scale-up is needed.

Contribution: Evidence of an intervention to train CHWs to support stroke survivors and family caregivers.


Keywords

primary healthcare; community care; stroke rehabilitation; community health workers; low resourced; low- and middle-income countries.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

Total abstract views: 952
Total article views: 1056


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.