Author(s): Danells CJ, Black SE, Gladstone DJ, McIlroy WE
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Patients with hemiparetic stroke have impaired balance control. Some patients ("pushers") are resistant to accepting weight on and actively "push" away from the nonparetic side. This research identified pushers from stroke patients with moderate to severe hemiparesis and examined longitudinal changes in symptoms, level of impairment, and functional independence. METHODS: Prospective sample of hemiparetic stroke patients (n=65) located in Toronto, Canada. Detailed clinical assessments were performed within 10 days postonset, at 6 weeks, and at 3 months. RESULTS: At 1 week after stroke, 63\% of patients demonstrated features of pushing. In 62\% of pushers, symptoms resolved by 6 weeks, whereas in 21\%, pushing symptoms persisted at 3 months. Motor recovery and functional abilities at 3 months were significantly lower among the pushers compared with the nonpushers. Pushers also had a significantly longer hospital length of stay (89 days versus 57 days). It is noteworthy that motor and functional recovery improved significantly over the 3-month study period for both pushers and nonpushers. CONCLUSIONS: Identification of stroke patients with pushing symptoms has prognostic implications for recovery. In light of this potential recovery, rehabilitation specialists need to refine treatment approaches for the pushers to further improve functional outcome.
This article was published in Stroke
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation