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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 Sep 09

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.06996-3

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Prognostic value of balance performance for improvements of community ambulation among stroke patients: a cohort study

Francesc MEDINA-MIRAPEIX 1, M. José CRISOSTOMO 2, Rodrigo MARTÍN SAN AGUSTÍN 3 , M. Piedad SÁNCHEZ-MARTÍNEZ 1

1 Department of Physical Therapy, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; 2 Department of Rehabilitation, Jerez Hospital, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain; 3 Department of Physical Therapy, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain


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BACKGROUND: Despite the positive impact of improving the level of community ambulation among stroke patients, little prognostic research has focused on this indicator. AIM: To investigate the prognostic value of the side-by-side, semi-tandem, and tandem standing balance positions and the five-sit-stand (5STS) test for discriminating patients undergoing physical rehabilitation who improve level of functional ambulation and predicting transition time.
DESIGN: A cohort study with assessments repeated monthly until discharge for classifying patients in a community ambulation class.
SETTING: A neurological rehabilitation unit of a hospital in Spain.
POPULATION: A consecutive sample of 109 stroke patients (68.5 ±12.0 years) was screened and included within four months post stroke. Of them no one refused, 3 died, and 5 were lost earlier to transition or discharge.
METHODS: Balance tests, the 5STS and gait speed were measured at the center at baseline and monthly until discharge. Transition from household or limited community ambulation to a higher ambulatory capacity or class. Area under the curve (AUC) were used to compare discriminative abilities of the tests and Cox regression analysis to evaluate the association between the tests and time of transition.
RESULTS: For household non-ambulators, the semi-tandem was the best discriminative test (AUC=0.850) and the three balance tests showed an association with time to transition. Among the limited community ambulators, the 5STS test also revealed discriminative ability (AUC: 0.822 [0.63-1.00]), with a good prognostic cut-off (14.8 seconds) and association with time to transition (Hazard Ratio: 1.22; 95%CI: 1.05-1.43).
CONCLUSIONS: Semi-tandem and the 5STS tests can discriminate patients who improve level of functional ambulation and predict transition times within three months in nonambulators and limited community ambulation patients, respectively.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: The semi-tandem and the 5STS tests can be performed easily in clinical settings to predict improvement of functional ambulation level in patients following stroke.


KEY WORDS: Postural balance; Stroke rehabilitation; Walking; Transitions

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