Assistance provided by physical therapists from primary health care to patients after stroke

<div><p>Abstract Introduction: Motor impairments, which are prevalent in stroke subjects, require physical therapy (PT) rehabilitation. In primary care in the Brazilian Public Health System, PT are part of the Núcleo de Apoio à Saúde da Família (NASF). Objective: To describe the PT assistance provided to stroke patients in a primary healthcare center. Methods: The records of all stroke patients (n = 44; 69.23 ± 13.12 years) identified by the health professionals were analyzed. Using keyword recognition, frequency analysis of the services offered by the PT was performed. Subjects were classified according to the Modified Rankin Scale. Results: In the 44 records, 45.5% had a description of the assistance provided by any professional of the NASF and 36.4% of the PT care. PT care was provided at the subject’s home (94.2%) and at the healthcare center (5.8%). The PT practices were identified as: orientation (93.8%), evaluation (87.5%), exercises (50%), follow-up (37.5%), referral to another service or to undergrad PT students (18.8%), and referral to other NASF professionals (12.5%). Most of the subjects were classified as having mild/moderate disability. Conclusion: The minority of records had registration of attendance by the NASF PT. The majority of the sessions occurred at the subject’s home, which reveals a practice focused on individual care. The orientation was common, which illustrates that in primary care there is a focus on empowerment for health self-improvement. Follow-up was not common, despite clinical guidelines state that stroke subjects should be monitored at least once a year by the rehabilitation team.</p></div>