Neurophysiotherapy in Nigeria: an overview of neurophysiotherapy service models, how current evidence is used in supporting treatment models and the challenges therein

olumide-olasunkanmi

Neurophysiotherapy in Nigeria: an overview of neurophysiotherapy service models, how current evidence is used in supporting treatment models and the challenges therein

Stroke rehabilitation is a combined and coordinated use of medical, social, educational and vocational measures to retrain a person who has suffered a stroke to his/her maximal physical, psychological, social and. vocational potential, consistent with physiologic and environmental limitations.

Stroke rehabilitation services in Nigeria are usually delivered under two major models –hospital-based and community-based (home) rehabilitation services. At the acute phases, majority of the survivors are managed as inpatients on the wards (commonly in the secondary and tertiary hospitals) by Physicians and Physiotherapists in what can best be described as multi-disciplinary approach. After the stroke survivors are discharged from the ward, they either receive physiotherapy (stroke rehabilitation) services on outpatient basis or at home, based on factors such as finance, proximity, accessibility and comfort.

The frequently adopted rehabilitation models in the Nigerian practice are Bobath, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and Constraint-induced Movement Therapy (CIMT). The rehabilitation preference is determined by experience/exposure of the physiotherapist, weight of evidence in support of the model and availability of skills/equipment.

The challenges in stroke rehabilitation services are mainly personnel and resources; specifically few number of trained Neurophysiotherapists, fewer number with knowledge of specialized models, lack of training platforms to hone skills and dearth of facilities.

Keywords: Neurophysiotherapist, Nigeria, Stroke rehabilitation models