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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2003 Jan;58(1):P45-53.

Attentional abilities and functional outcomes following stroke.

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University of Kansas Medical Center, Occupational Therapy Education, Kansas City 66160, USA.


Although stroke affects cognitive functioning as well as motor functioning, research on cognitive consequences has lagged behind that focused on motor function. The evidence that is accruing suggests that cognitive function is importantly related to successful rehabilitation. The present study examined two aspects of attentional functioning (divided attention and switching attention) in older adult stroke survivors and healthy older adults. In addition, the authors investigated the relation between attention and functional outcomes following stroke. Results revealed stroke-related deficits in both of the types of attention as well as significant associations between attentional functioning and both physical and social outcome measures. Poorer attentional performance was associated with a more negative impact of stroke on daily functioning. These findings suggest an important role for attention in post-stroke function and provide information that can contribute to improving outcomes following stroke.

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