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Evidence to Improve Care

Continual Long-Term Physiotherapy After Stroke

Final Recommendation

  • The Quality business unit at Ontario Health, based on guidance from the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends ensuring that public funding for post-stroke physiotherapy is consistent with the recommendations in the 2016 Quality-Based Procedures: Clinical Handbook for Stroke (Acute and Postacute) to allow for equitable access and availability of this service. Ontario Health (Quality) further recommends that the Ministry of Health clarify any applicable policies for receiving publicly funded physiotherapy for rehabilitation after a stroke

Read the final recommendation report

When someone suffers a stroke, blood flow is interrupted to part of their brain, resulting in damaged brain cells. Each year, more than 50,000 people in Canada have a stroke for the first time. While more than 80% survive, they often suffer damage to their motor skills which can affect things like their ability to walk and talk.

People who have had a stroke may experience better recovery if they follow a short-term physiotherapy program (of less than 12 weeks) as part of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. The goal of physiotherapy after a stroke is to improve strength, balance, coordination, endurance and flexibility.

This health technology assessment attempted to determine how effective a continual long-term physiotherapy program (of more than 12 weeks) is for people who have had a stroke, if it is cost-effective, and the budget impact of publicly funding continual long-term physiotherapy for recovery from stroke. It also looked at the experiences, preferences, and values of people who have had a stroke.

Read the full health technology assessment report for more information.

Continual Long-Term Physiotherapy After Stroke: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
March 2020

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The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health has provided the following response: The Ministry has a standardized process in place to review health technology assessments and funding recommendations. This takes into consideration Ministry priorities, implementation options, the need for consultation with impacted stakeholders, and funding considerations.


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