Incentives for Uptake of and Adherence to Outpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Services: A 3-Arm Randomized Controlled Trial.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)


To determine if rehabilitation uptake and adherence can be increased by providing coordinated transportation (increased convenience) and eliminating out-of-pocket costs (reduced expense).


Three-arm randomized controlled trial.


Stroke units of 2 Singapore tertiary hospitals.


Singaporeans or permanent residents 21 years or older who were diagnosed as having stroke and were discharged home with physician's recommendation to continue outpatient rehabilitation (N=266).


A Transportation Incentives arm (T), which provides free transportation services, a Transportation & Sessions Incentives arm (T&S), offering free transportation and prescribed stroke rehabilitation sessions, and a control arm, Education (E), consisting of a stroke rehabilitation educational program.

Main outcome measures

The primary study outcome was uptake of outpatient rehabilitation services (ORS) among patients poststroke and key predefined secondary outcomes being number of sessions attended and adherence to prescribed sessions.


Uptake rate of ORS was 73.0% for E (confidence interval [CI], 63.8%-82.3%), 81.8% for T (CI, 73.8%-89.8%), and 84.3% for T&S (CI, 76.7%-91.8%). Differences of T and T&S vs E were not statistically significant (P=.22 and P=.10, respectively). However, average number of rehabilitation sessions attended were significantly higher in both intervention arms: 5.50±7.65 for T and 7.51±9.52 for T&S vs 3.26±4.22 for control arm (E) (T vs E: P=.017; T&S vs E: P<.001). Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that persistence was higher for T&S compared with E (P=.029).


This study has demonstrated a possibility in increasing the uptake of and persistence to stroke ORS with free transportation and sessions. Incentivizing survivors of stroke to take up ORS is a new strategy worthy of further exploration for future policy change in financing ORS or other long-term care services.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Matchar, DB; Young, SHY; Sim, R; Yu, CJY; Yan, X; De Silva, DA; Chakraborty, B

Published Date

  • January 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 103 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 7.e4

PubMed ID

  • 34516998

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-821X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-9993

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.08.013


  • eng