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Background: New models of care delivery are necessary to meet workforce needs while delivering expert care in neurorehabilitation. Therefore, we sought to develop and assess the implementation of a new model of care for neurorehabilitation using a 5-member team of therapists (5-Team Model) for the treatment of individuals with chronic stroke, rather than a conventional single-therapist model.
Methods: A mixed methods approach was employed; continuous quality improvement methods and quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test methods were used to assess the effectiveness of the new model.
Six chronic stroke patients participated in an upper limb neurorehabilitation motor learning protocol 5 days/week, 5 hours/day (60 sessions; 300 hours); treatment was administered using the 5-Team Model approach to treatment.
Results: Mean improvement on the Fugl Meyer (FM) was 11.5 points. All six participants demonstrated improvement on Fugl Meyer that was within or beyond the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) range of 4.25-7.25 points for chronic stroke. Results indicated that the 5-Team Model was effective in implementing care.
Conclusions: The 5-Team Model for neurorehabilitation was successfully implemented, with patient hand-off every day to a different therapist; it produced clinically significant improvement on a measure of coordination (FM) which is comparable to or better than prior reports from a standard care model. This new model of care met the needs of the research team workforce for flexibility, while maintaining the level of quality of care. Successful implementation required addressing a series of hindering factors in an iterative manner and enhancing promoting factors. These elements included the context within which the change was implemented, the methods used in implementing the change, the evidence that the change was successful, and communication that the change was successful. The context requirements included existing framework and participating model members who were willing to exert the required effort for success, model champions. This high level of enthusiastic participation along with strong leadership contributed to long-term success, sustainability.
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