WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Return to work services rendered for patients at stroke rehabilitation facilities
Veronica Ntsiea, Heleen Van Aswegen, Heleen Van Aswegen, Sue Lord, Sue Lord, Steve Olorunju, Steve Olorunju

Last modified: 2012-02-09


Purpose and aim of the study:

According to the health professions council of South Africa scope of physiotherapy practice rehabilitation includes: “getting the patient to maximum potential in both work and sport, including adaptation to permanent disabilities”. There is a need to ensure that patients who can go back to work after stroke do so, because returning to work may contribute significantly to their life satisfaction, wellbeing, self worth and social identity by giving them an opportunity to maintain independence with the income generated through employment The aim of this study was to establish current practice in return to work (RTW) intervention programmes for patients with stroke.


A cross sectional survey was performed using a self administered questionnaire which was posted with an information document to 53 stroke rehabilitation facilities within the Gauteng province in South Africa and 36 facilities responded.


Seventeen of the 36 clinical settings referred patients to facilities offering RTW services; 12 facilities did not refer patients for RTW and did not offer RTW services and seven facilities offered RTW services. Of the seven facilities that rendered post stroke RTW services five communicated with the employer to discuss reasonable accommodation and four did assessments for potential to return to work. The most common reason given by the 29 facilities for not offering RTW services was that they referred patients to other therapists who offered these services. The second most common reason was the unemployment status of the patient at the time of having stroke.


 A small number of clinical facilities in the Gauteng province of South Africa assess their patients to establish potential for return to work after stroke and a small number of clinical facilities render RTW intervention for patients with stroke.


Key words: Stroke, Return to work

Ethical clearance for this study was granted by the University of the Witwatersrand committee for research on human subjects (clearance number M081132)  

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