An enriched environment increases activity in stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation in a mixed rehabilitation unit: a pilot non-randomized controlled trial Academic Article uri icon


  • An enriched environment (EE) facilitates physical, cognitive and social activity in animal models of stroke. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether enriching the environment of a mixed rehabilitation unit increased stroke patient activity.A non- randomized controlled trial was conducted. Direct observation was used to determine the difference in change in physical, cognitive, social or any activity over 2 weeks in patients exposed to an enriched versus non-enriched environment.Stroke patients in the EE (n = 15) were 1.2 (95% CI 1.0-1.4) times more likely to be engaged in any activity compared with those in a non-enriched environment (n = 14). They were 1.7 (95% CI 1.1-2.5) times more likely to be engaged in cognitive activities, 1.2 (95% CI 1.0-1.5) times more likely to be engaged in social activities, 0.7 (95% CI 0.6-0.9) times as likely to be inactive and alone and 0.5 (95% CI 0.4-0.7) times as likely to be asleep than patients without enrichment.This preliminary trial suggests that the comprehensive model of enrichment developed for use in a rehabilitation unit was effective in increasing activity in stroke patients and reducing time spent inactive and alone.


  • Janssen, H
  • Ada, L
  • Bernhardt, J
  • McElduff, P
  • Pollack, M
  • Nilsson, M
  • Spratt, NJ

publication date

  • 2014