Process of physiotherapy services of stroke patients treated at Ruhengeri Hospital in Rwanda: A four-year document review

  • Gerad Urimubenshi
  • Anthea Rhoda


Physiotherapy plays a major role in the rehabilitation of patients with stroke. The process of physiotherapy management could influence the patient outcomes.

This study aimed to describe the process of physiotherapy for patients with stroke treated at Ruhengeri Hospital in Rwanda, as documented in patients' folders.

A quantitative retrospective design was used to review the medical records of stroke patients admitted to Ruhengeri Hospital from January 1st, 2005 up to December 31st, 2008.

Two hundred and four patients with stroke were treated at Ruhengeri Hospital within the 4-year period, but only 139 patients (68%) were included in the analysis of the findings. The mean age of the study population was 56.3 years, and 53.2% were females compared to 46.8% males. Out of the 139 patients, only 55 (39.6%) received physiotherapy, and the majority (76.3%) started to receive physiotherapy within one week of their admission. The mean number of physiotherapy sessions for the
patients was found to be four.

Less than half of the patients with stroke admitted to Ruhengeri Hospital in Rwanda received physiotherapy. Of those who received physiotherapy the frequency is low. There is therefore a need for physiotherapists working at this hospital to review their management of patients with stroke in an attempt to provide an increased frequency of treatment to more patients.


Banks, N. J. (1998). Designing medical record

abstraction forms. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 10(2), 163-167.

Beech, R., Ratcliffe, M., Tilling, K., & Wolfe, C. (1996). Hospital Services for Stroke Care. A European Perspective. Stroke, 27(11), 1958-1964.

Datie, A. M., Nandjui, B., Manou, B., Alloh, D., & Boni, E. (2006). Rehabilitation of stroke patients in Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire). International journal of stroke, 1(1), 19.

De Weerdt, W., Selz, B., Nuyens, G., Staes, F., Swinnen, D., van de Winckel, A., et al. (2000). Time use of stroke

patients in an intensive rehabilitation unit: a comparison between a Belgian and a Swiss setting. Disability and Rehabilitation, 22(4), 181-186.

Domoholdt, E. (2000). Physical Therapy

Research: Principles and Applications (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: WB Saunders Publishers.

Hacke, W., Kaste, M., Skyhoj, 0. T., 0rgogozo, J. M., &

Bogousslavsky, J. (2000). European Stroke Initiative (EUSI). Recommendations for Stroke Management. The European stroke initiative writing committee. European Journal of Neurology, 7(6), 607-623.

Hoenig, H., Horner, R. D., Duncan, P. W., Clipp, E., & Hamilton, B. (1999). New horizons in stroke rehabilitation research. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 36(1), 19-31.

Jacob, G. (2009). Stroke. Retrieved July 6, 2009, from symptoms.htm

Jette, D. U., Latham, N. K., Smout, R. J., Gassaway, J., Slavin, M. D., & Horn, S. D. (2005). Physical Therapy Interventions for Patients with Stroke in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities.

Physical Therapy, 85(3), 238-248.

Joint Technical Mission. (2007). Report on mission to Rwanda. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from


Kaplan, R. J. (2005). Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Review (2nd ed.). London: McGraw Hill Medical Publishing.

Karabayinga, P. C. (2009). Musanze District. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from

Kengne, A. P., & Anderson, C. S. (2006). The neglected burden of stroke in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Stroke, 1(4), 180-190.

Kwakkel, G., Kollen, B., & Lindeman, E. (2004).

Understanding the pattern of functional recovery after stroke:facts and theories. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 22(3-5), 281-299.

Law, M. (2002). Evidence-Based Rehabilitation: A Guide to Practice. New Jersey, United States of America: SLACK Incorporated.

Musanze District. (2009). Agriculture. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from ontent&view=category&layout=blog&id=56&Itemid=73


Musicco, M., Emberti, L., Nappi, G., & Caltagirone, C. (2003). Early and long-term outcome of rehabilitation in stroke patients: The role of patient characteristics, time of initiation, and duration of interventions. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 84(4), 551-558.