BACKGROUND: Physiotherapy plays a major role in the rehabilitation of patients with stroke. The process of
physiotherapy management could influence the patient outcomes.
AIM: This study aimed to describe the process of physiotherapy for patients with stroke treated at
Ruhengeri Hospital in Rwanda, as documented in patients' folders.
METHOD: 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.
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSION: 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.