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Brain Inj. 2008 Feb;22(2):135-45. doi: 10.1080/02699050801895423.

Exercise and health-related quality of life during the first year following acute stroke. A randomized controlled trial.

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Faculty of Health, Physiotherapy Programme, Oslo University College, Oslo, Norway.



To evaluate the impact of two different physiotherapy exercise regimes in patients after acute stroke on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and to investigate how the degree of motor and balance function, gait capacity, activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living influenced HRQoL.


A longitudinal randomized controlled stratified trial of two interventions: the intensive exercise groups with scheduled intensive training during four periods of the first year after stroke and the regular exercise group with self-initiated training.


There was a tendency of better HRQoL in the regular exercise group on NHP total score (p = 0.05). Patients with low scores in activities of daily living, balance and motor function and inability to perform 6-minute walk test on admission, scored lower on self-perceived health than patients with high scores and ability to perform the walking test. At 1 year post-stroke, total scores on NHP were moderately associated with motor function (r = -0.63), balance (r = -0.56), gait (r = -0.57), activities of daily living (r = -0.57) and instrumental activities of daily living (r = -0.49-0.58). The physical mobility sub-scale of NHP had the strongest association ranging from r = -0.47-0.82.


The regular exercise group with self-initiated training seemed to enhance HRQoL more than the intensive exercise group with scheduled intensive training. The degree of motor function, balance, walking capacity and independence in activities of daily living is of importance for perceived HRQoL.

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