A Descriptive Study of Variables Explaining Functional Recovery Following Motor Stroke
This prospective correlational study described a cohort of subjects with a motor stroke and assessed the extent to which selected variables measured during the acute phase explained the variation in functional recovery post stroke. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 100 consenting adults recruited during admission to neurology services at two large urban medical centers. Age, lesion volume on MRI, motor strength, cognitive status, and post-stroke functional level data were collected during the acute care hospital admission. Subjects mean age was 65 years (SD ± 15, range = 20–90), the mean lesion volume in centimeters cubed (cm3) was 21.5 (SD ± 44.7, range = 0 - 225) and the mean National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was 6.34 (SD ± 3.55, range = 2–17). Cognitive status was measured using two instruments. The mean Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) score was 24.38 (SD ± 13, range = 9–30) while the mean Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE) was 64.33 (SD ± 13, range = 12–85). The mean Functional Independence Measure (FIM) score was 94.05 (SD ± 19.31, range = 38–120). Ninety subjects were available three months post stroke when functional recovery was measured. The Mean FIM score at that time was 117 (SD ± 13). The results of the multiple regression analysis revealed that age, the NCSE, and the FIM at the time of admission accounted for 42% of the variance in functional recovery three months after stroke. The NIHSS and lesion volume on MRI did not enter the hierarchical regression model. In addition to providing a description of a group of individuals who had a motor stroke, the results of this study will help allied health professionals appropriately focus their time and attention during the fast paced acute phase of stroke care.