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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Aug;95(8):1547-55.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.03.031. Epub 2014 Apr 19.

Recovery of paretic lower extremity loading ability and physical function in the first six months after stroke.

Author information

1
Center for Human Movement Science and Division of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. Electronic address: vmercer@med.unc.edu.
2
Center for Human Movement Science and Division of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
3
Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate poststroke recovery of paretic lower extremity loading, walking ability, and self-reported physical function; and to identify subject characteristics associated with recovery.

DESIGN:

Inception cohort study, with testing at monthly intervals from 1 to 6 months poststroke.

SETTING:

Medical center and research laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS:

Volunteer sample of individuals with first-ever, unilateral, noncerebellar stroke (N=33). A total of 78 individuals underwent screening, and 45 were found to be eligible. Of these, 8 declined participation, 2 were excluded because of deteriorating cognitive status, and 2 were lost to follow-up. The remaining 33 individuals enrolled in the study, and 30 (91%) completed the study.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Outcomes were loading of the paretic lower extremity when standing up from a chair, self-selected gait speed (GS), and Physical Functioning Index.

RESULTS:

Data analyses using linear mixed models indicated that subjects improved over time for all outcomes. Baseline Fugl-Meyer (FM) lower extremity motor scale score was a predictor of immediate poststroke performance for paretic lower extremity loading and self-selected GS, and a predictor of recovery rate for paretic lower extremity loading. Factors identified as having significant effects on performance at 6 months poststroke were baseline FM lower extremity motor scale score for paretic lower extremity loading and self-selected GS and baseline star cancellation score (from the Behavioral Inattention Test) for paretic lower extremity loading.

CONCLUSIONS:

Individuals with better baseline paretic lower extremity motor function have better ability to load that extremity during functional activities and faster walking speeds, and these advantages are still present at 6 months poststroke. Individuals with severe visuospatial neglect demonstrate less ability to load the paretic leg during functional activities at 6 months poststroke.

KEYWORDS:

Gait; Recovery of function; Rehabilitation; Stroke

PMID:
24755045
PMCID:
PMC4112143
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2014.03.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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