Real-world affected upper limb activity in chronic stroke: an examination of potential modifying factors

Ryan R. Bailey, Rebecca L. Birkenmeier, Catherine E. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite improvement in motor function after intervention, adults with chronic stroke experience disability in everyday activity. Factors other than motor function may influence affected upper limb (UL) activity.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize affected UL activity and examine potential modifying factors of affected UL activity in community-dwelling adults with chronic stroke.

METHODS: Forty-six adults with chronic stroke wore accelerometers on both ULs for 25 hours and provided information about potential modifying factors [time spent in sedentary activity, cognitive impairment, depressive symptomatology, number of comorbidities, motor dysfunction of the affected UL, age, activities of daily living (ADL) status, and living arrangement]. Accelerometry was used to quantify duration of affected and unaffected UL activity. The ratio of affected-to-unaffected UL activity was also calculated. Associations within and between accelerometry-derived variables and potential modifying factors were examined.

RESULTS: Mean hours of affected and unaffected UL activity were 5.0 ± 2.2 and 7.6 ± 2.1 hours respectively. The ratio of affected-to-unaffected UL activity was 0.64 ± 0.19, and hours of affected and unaffected UL activity were strongly correlated (r = 0.78). Increased severity of motor dysfunction and dependence in ADLs were associated with decreased affected UL activity. No other factors were associated with affected UL activity.

CONCLUSIONS: Severity of motor dysfunction and ADL status should be taken into consideration when setting goals for UL activity in people with chronic stroke. Given the strong, positive correlation between affected and unaffected UL activity, encouragement to increase activity of the unaffected UL may increase affected UL activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalTopics in stroke rehabilitation
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • Accelerometry,
  • Arm,
  • Body-worn sensors,
  • Function,
  • Rehabilitation,
  • Stroke,
  • Upper limb

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