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Stroke. 1997 Jul;28(7):1382-5.

Trunk control test as an early predictor of stroke rehabilitation outcome.

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  • 1Servizio Fisiatria Occupazionale ed Ergonomia, Centro Medico di Riabilitazione di Veruno, Italy.



The aim of this study was to investigate the construct and predictive validity of the Trunk Control Test (TCT) in postacute stroke patients by comparing TCT scores at admission and discharge with the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores.


Forty-nine patients participated in the study. The TCT examines four movements: rolling from a supine position to the weak side (T1) and to the strong side (T2), sitting up from a lying-down position (T3), and sitting balance (T4). The FIM is an 18-item scale (13 motor [motFIM] and 5 cognitive [cognFIM]) used to determine the level of dependence of patients in daily life.


Thirty-six patients (73%) increased their TCT overall score at discharge. The TCT item-total correlations were high, both at admission and discharge (P < .0001). The individual TCT items were intercorrelated. Furthermore, the homogeneity of the TCT was confirmed by a high Cronbach's index. High correlations were found between admission and discharge scores in the different tests (TCT, FIM, and motFIM; P < .0001) and between TCT at admission and FIM (P < .0001) and motFIM (P < .0001) at admission. TCT at admission alone explained 71% of the variance in motFIM at discharge.


The TCT showed a good sensitivity to change in assessing recovery of stroke patients. The high item-total correlation and Cronbach's alpha value of the TCT suggest that there is one homogeneous construct underlying the item list. The TCT construct validity was confirmed by the correlation between this test and the FIM scores. TCT at admission predicted motFIM at discharge even better than motFIM at admission alone. Possibly, the TCT captures basic motor skills that foreshadow the recovery of more complex behavioral skills described by the FIM.

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