Sensitivity and predictive value of occupational and physical therapy assessments in the functional evaluation of patients with suspected normal pressure hydrocephalus
David Feick, Jennifer Sickmond, Li Liu, Philippe Metellus, Michael Williams, Danielle Rigamonti, Felicia Hill-Briggs
Objective: To examine effectiveness of standardized occupational therapy and physical therapy assessments in detecting functional changes and predicting clinical improvement in patients with suspected normal pressure hydrocephalus undergoing cerebrospinal fluid drainage.
Design: Cohort study. Patients: Eighty-seven patients admitted to an inpatient neurology unit for elective cerebrospinal fluid drainage for suspected normal pressure hydrocephalus.
Methods: Before and after a protocol of continuous cerebrospinal fluid drainage via spinal catheter, patients were administered the Functional Independence Measure (FIMTM), Timed Up and Go (TUG), Tinetti Assessment Tool of Gait and Balance, 9-hole peg test, and Cognitive Assessment of Minnesota (CAM). Following cerebrospinal fluid drainage, changes in functional performance were compared for responders to cerebrospinal fluid drainage and non-responders to cerebrospinal fluid drainage.
Results: At baseline, CAM was more sensitive than the Mini Mental State Exam in predicting responders. Post-drainage: responders improved on 52% of tests while non-responders improved on only 11%. Assessments that differentiated magnitude of improvement in responders vs non-responders were: TUG (p<0.05), Tinetti total (p<0.001), Tinetti balance (p<0.001), Tinetti gait (p<0.001), FIM toilet transfer (p<0.001), and FIM lower body dressing (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Specific occupational therapy and physical therapy assessments demonstrate sensitivity to change and predictive value with patients with suspected normal pressure hydrocephalus undergoing cerebrospinal fluid drainage.
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