Arm use in patients with subacute stroke monitored by accelerometry: Association with motor impairment and influence on self-dependence
Gyrd Thrane, Nina Emaus, Torunn Askim, Audny Anke
Objective: To assess the effect of arm motor impairment on actual arm use in the early post-stroke period and explore its association with self-care dependency.
Subjects: Thirty-one patients recruited within the 30 first days after stroke.
Methods: Motor impairment of the upper extremity was measured with Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment (FMA) and arm use was measured with accelerometry. Arm movement ratio (AMR), the ratio of arm use duration between the more and less affected arm, was calculated. Self-care dependency was defined as needing personal assistance in primary self-care activities.
Results: FMA of the more affected arm was strongly associated with AMR (Spearman’s correlation coefficient –0.851, p > 0.001), although some patients deviated considerably from the regression line. Covariates did not have any influence on this relation. Both arm motor function and actual arm use related to self-care dependency, but were no longer significant when we controlled for lower extremity motor function.
Conclusion: FMA and AMR correlated highly in the early post-stroke period. These measures relate to different dimensions of the International Classification of Functioning and Health, and could be supplementary measures to reveal non-use of the affected arm. Arm use and arm impairment were not significantly associated with self-care dependency in our sample.
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