As Singapore faces a rapidly ageing population, the national burden of long-term disability is expected to correspondingly increase. Post-discharge rehabilitation of the newly disabled adults, especially during the subacute phase after an acute disabling event where functional recovery is most likely, is an important strategy to reduce the prevalence of severe disability. Besides maximising functional recovery, rehabilitation also improves their quality of life, reduces the costs associated with disability and years lost due to disability, translating into effective usage of limited resources. Community hospitals in Singapore function as one of the primary sites facilitating adult rehabilitation.
Anecdotally, however, adherence to supervised rehabilitation within the community, postdischarge, has been demonstrated to be low. Studies in the United States (US) and Australia have shown that the rates of rehabilitation service utilisation by stroke patients in the community is as low as 13% to 31%. A local study by Koh et al on the adherence rates (at day rehabilitation centres) in stroke patients discharged from community hospitals have estimated the rate to be about 28% at 1 year.