Clinical Data Reveals 6-month "Golden Rehabilitation Period"

|Jun 3|magazine22 min read
  • The report on Clinical Performance and Quality of Rehabilitation for 2018-2019 released jointly by Consanas Rehabilitation and SIMC Rehabilitation Medicine Center reveals dramatic improvement in stroke patient survival rate with rehabilitation beginning within six months of onset. Stroke rehab should start as early as possible, but even if it starts later, it's not too late. 
  • Studies show rehabilitation to be one of the most pivotal elements of stroke recovery, reducing functional disability, improving quality of life and lowering potential healthcare costs
  • Professor Schoenle, Clinical Head of Consanas Rehabilitation, has studied and summarized key differences between Chinese and German neuro rehabilitation from four aspects: philosophy, patient management, innovative therapy methods and high-tech application.

SHANGHAI, June 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Strokes have become the leading cause of death among China's 1.4 billion population. Stroke patients also often suffer from harmful sequelae, such as hemiplegia, aphasia, cognitive dysfunction and a loss of ability to practice self-care, all of which can severely affect their quality of life. Rehabilitation is scientifically proven to be one of the most effective means to reduce the rate of disability among stroke patients.

Consanas Rehabilitation--a Boehringer Ingelheim brand, and SIMC Rehabilitation Medicine Center - supported by Consanas recently released a joint paper: "Report on Clinical Performance and Quality of Rehabilitation for 2018-2019". These findings in this report prove that the effect of functional rehabilitation can be greatly improved if the rehabilitation process starts early, within the six-month "golden" recovery period. But thereafter, improvements can still be achieved, only it takes longer. 

Earlier stroke rehabilitation, better functional recovery

Currently, 3.5 million stroke patients are diagnosed very year[1], of which, up to 80% require support due to decreased ability to care for themselves independently[2]. Effective rehabilitation can reduce functional disability in patients, improve their quality of life, accelerate the stroke recovery process, reduce potential healthcare costs and preserve social resources.

Timing is key to stroke recovery. Statistics show that eight to 12 weeks after stroke is the optimal recovery period for patients who suffer from physical dysfunction. If rehabilitation starts early, within six months after symptom onset, patient survival can improve up to 97%[3].The "Healthy China 2030" plan discusses the importance of early diagnosis, early treatment and early rehabilitation.

In Germany, 365,000 German stroke survivors were re-employed through 2005, representing approximately 45% of all stroke patients who underwent rehabilitation services. As of 2020, this figure had grown to more than 417,0004.

As the leader and practitioner in introducing German rehabilitation model to China, Consanas and SIMC Rehabilitation Medicine Center - supported by Consanas has committed to helping patients recover with German wisdom. As covered in the report, the groups used multiple evaluation criteria to analyze clinical data from hospitalized stroke patients in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department [Stage C rehabilitation patients in Germany; patients that cannot move freely in daily life]. The rehabilitation analysis revealed that, based on the German Early Barthel Index (EBI) criteria, the average rate of improvement among patients hospitalized within six months after onset was 78.6%, and based on the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), the improvement rate of this patient group was 28%. Both improvements rates are significantly higher than that of stroke patients admitted after the six-month period.

"We hope that with the help of clinical data, more doctors, patients and family members will realize that the focus of stroke treatment should not just be survival, but also early and optimal functional recovery, improving quality of life, and effective re-engagement into society in order to help patients live a more meaningful life after their stroke," said Professor Paul Schoenle, a German professor specializing in neuro rehabilitation who serves as the head of Consanas Rehabilitation and was one of the initiators of the Report on Clinical Performance and Quality of Rehabilitation for 2018-2019. Professor Schoenle also stressed that treatment remains necessary after the six-month period following a stroke, as patients can still benefit from continued rehabilitation.

Unique qualities of Germany's neuro rehabilitation: From theory to conception to practice

The German neuro rehabilitation process--characterized by high standardization, high efficiency and high intensity--is recognized as a leading international standard due to the complete hierarchical rehabilitation approach, the collaboration of multi-disciplinary professional teams and the comprehensive rehab insurance system.

In March 2018, Consanas Rehabilitation and SIMC jointly established a Rehabilitation Medicine Center with the mission to follow the German-standard of rehabilitation treatment. With now more than two years of practical experience in China, Professor Schoenle has studied and summarized the key differences between Chinese and German neuro rehabilitation from four aspects: philosophy, patient management, innovative therapy methods and high-tech application.

1.      Difference in the rehabilitation philosophy

The first variance stems from the general perception of and approach to rehabilitation. Chinese patients generally prefer passive therapies, with many relying on their medical team and the established rehabilitation regimen as a means to recovery. Given the cultural influence of Confucianism, family members also believe it is their responsibility to help. However, rehabilitation differs from other medical disciplines in that throughout the rehabilitation process, the medical team plays nothing more than an auxiliary coach role, while patients are the primary promoters of their own recovery, they are subjects not objects of their rehab. The German rehabilitation approach advocates the active participation of patients, while the clinical team's charge is to prove guide patients in staying active, persistent and motivated for the duration of the treatment process. This happens through psychological counseling, emotional support, family education, group therapy and beyond.

2.      Difference in the patient management

The second distinction involves the rehabilitation management of patients. The German style of rehabilitation places a stronger emphasis on a complete process that is, creating a comprehensive communication and reporting system that involves the core team, the case manager, as well as simple and efficient data management platforms - RMS. Together, this system ensures consistency in clinical diagnoses and promotes a higher standard of care across the multi-disciplinary medical team. The medical team can develop a regimen and formulate consistent, phased rehabilitation goals based on a common and complete understanding of the patient. Additional patient incentives introduced throughout the program can help motivate the patients to remain active and compliant throughout treatment.

3.       Difference in innovative therapy methods

The medical team of SIMC Rehabilitation Medicine Center-supported by Consanas designs two innovate methods: group therapy and rehabilitation in personalized life scenarios. Group therapy refers to the simultaneous treatment of 3-5 patients with a similar functional status by a therapist. Participants are required to interact, assist each other, and compete, to improve their functional levels after training; rehabilitation in personalized life scenarios refers to the individualized treatment of patients according to their functional levels and personalized needs in real life scenarios. based on a patient's level of physical function. The programs are divided into three units—self-care, personal skills and social participation—and aim to help patients to live independently and gradually return to society.

"We merged the German-style of stroke rehabilitation with elements of Chinese culture and treatment, and over the last two years, this new method has proven quite effective," said Professor Schoenle. "Moving forward, we need to continue exploring and developing innovative new treatment methods to help more stroke patients follow effective rehabilitation programs, get access to rehabilitation earlier in their recovery journey, and return to their families and their normal lives as quickly and effectively as possible."

[1]Qian Weichong. Regulating Blood Lipids and Preventing Stroke [J]. Jiangsu Health Care: 2008(2):13-13.

[2]Zhang Tong (Author)--Chinese Journal of Rehabilitation Theory and Practice--Guidelines for
Rehabilitation of Stroke in China (2011 Full Version)

[3]Shao Limin--Modern Practical Medicine--Effect Evaluation of Extended Nursing Service for Discharged
Patients with Cerebral Infarction by Medical Care Combined with Health Education Intervention

[4] Prognos AG(2017) Die medizinische Rehabilitation Erwerbstätiger - Sicherung vonProduktivität und
Wachstum, Available from:
http://www.dbkg.de/downloads/pdf/die_medizinische_rehabilitation_erwerbstaetiger_sicherung_von_produktivitaet_und_wachstum.pdf
[Accessed at 2 November 2017].

About Consanas Rehabilitation

Consanas Rehabilitation is a rehabilitation brand under Boehringer Ingelheim, a century-old German pharmaceutical enterprise. Consanas Rehabilitation is committed to bringing the sought-after German neuro rehabilitation concept and advanced rehabilitation model to countries and regions around the world that are in urgent need of effective stroke rehabilitation practices. In March 2018, Consanas Rehabilitation and SIMC jointly established a Rehabilitation Medicine Department with the founding principle and mission of delivering a world-class standard of German rehabilitation treatment.

SOURCE Boegringer Ingelheim