Improvement of arm-hand function and arm-hand skill performance in stroke patients is reported by many authors. However, therapy content often is poorly described, data on actual arm-hand use are scarce, and, as follow-up time often is very short, little information on patients' mid-and long-term progression is available. Also, outcome data mainly stem from either a general patient group, unstratified for the severity of arm-hand impairment, or a very specific patient group.
To investigate to what extent the rate of improvement or deterioration of actual arm-hand use differs between stroke patients with either a severely, moderately or mildly affected arm-hand, during and after rehabilitation involving a well-defined rehabilitation program.
Design: single-armed prospective cohort study. Outcome measure: affected arm-hand use during daily tasks (accelerometry), expressed as 'Intensity-of arm-hand-use' and 'Duration-of-arm-hand-use' during waking hours. Measurement dates: at admission, clinical discharge and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-discharge. Statistics: Two-way repeated measures ANOVAs.
Seventy-six patients (63 males); mean age: 57.6 years (sd: 10.6); post-stroke time: 29.8 days (sd: 20.1) participated. Between baseline and 1-year follow-up, Intensity-of-arm-hand-use on the affected side increased by 51%, 114% and 14% (p <.000) in the mildly, moderately and severely affected patients, respectively. Similarly, Duration-of-arm-hand-use increased by 26%, 220% and 161% (p <.000). Regarding bimanual arm-hand use: Intensity-of-arm-hand-use increased by 44%, 74% and 30% (p
Stroke survivors with a severely, moderately or mildly affected arm-hand showed different, though (clinically) important, improvements in actual arm-hand use during the rehabilitation phase. Intensity-of-arm-hand-use and Duration-of-arm-hand-use significantly improved in both unimanual and bimanual tasks/skills. These improvements were maintained until at least 1 year post-discharge.
- UPPER-LIMB ACTIVITY
- UPPER EXTREMITY IMPAIRMENT
- SUBACUTE STROKE
- MOTOR RECOVERY