Accuracy of an Algorithm in Predicting Upper Limb Functional Capacity in a United States Population

Jessica Barth, Kimberly J. Waddell, Marghuretta D. Bland, Catherine E. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the accuracy of an algorithm, using clinical measures only, on a sample of persons with first-ever stroke in the United States (US). It was hypothesized that algorithm accuracy would fall in a range of 70%-80%. Design: Secondary analysis of prospective, observational, longitudinal cohort; 2 assessments were done: (1) within 48 hours to 1 week poststroke and (2) at 12 weeks poststroke. Setting: Recruited from a large acute care hospital and followed over the first 6 months after stroke. Participants: Adults with first-ever stroke (N=49) with paresis of the upper limb (UL) at ≤48 hours who could follow 2-step commands and were expected to return to independent living at 6 months. Intervention: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: The overall accuracy of the algorithm with clinical measures was quantified by comparing predicted (expected) and actual (observed) categories using a correct classification rate. Results: The overall accuracy (61%) and weighted κ (62%) were significant. Sensitivity was high for the Excellent (95%) and Poor (81%) algorithm categories. Specificity was high for the Good (82%), Limited (98%), and Poor (95%) categories. Positive predictive value (PPV) was high for Poor (82%) and negative predictive value (NPV) was high for all categories. No differences in participant characteristics were found between those with accurate or inaccurate predictions. Conclusions: The results of the present study found that use of an algorithm with clinical measures only is better than chance alone (chance=25% for each of the 4 categories) at predicting a category of UL capacity at 3 months post troke. The moderate to high values of sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV demonstrates some clinical utility of the algorithm within health care settings in the US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Multivariate analysis
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Upper extremity


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