Habitual walking speed and fatigue explain self-reported functional capacity after stroke

Physiother Res Int. 2022 Dec 25:e1990. doi: 10.1002/pri.1990. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Individuals after stroke present several motor impairments, which reduced the functional capacity. The understanding of modifiable factors which are related to functional capacity in individuals with chronic stroke could better direct clinical practice. However, the mechanisms that could influence functional capacity in individuals with chronic stroke are not fully understood.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine which modifiable variables would best predict self-reported functional capacity after stroke.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional.

SETTING: Research laboratory setting.

PARTICIPANTS: Ninety two individuals with chronic stroke, who had a mean age of 60 (SD 13) years and a time since the onset of the stroke of 52 (67) months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Regression analysis of cross-sectional data was used to investigate whether body mass index, habitual walking speed, physical activity levels, fatigue, motor recovery, walking distance, and residual strength deficits of the lower limb muscles would predict self-reported functional capacity.

RESULTS: Habitual walking speed alone explained 48% of the variance in functional capacity. When fatigue was included in the model, the explained variance increased to 55%.

CONCLUSIONS: Habitual walking speed and fatigue were significant predictors of self-reported functional capacity in individuals with chronic stroke. These individuals may increase their functional capacity with interventions aimed at increasing walking speed and reducing fatigue.

PMID:36566455 | DOI:10.1002/pri.1990

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