Predictors of ambulatory recovery and walking proficiency in community-dwelling stroke survivors: a cross-sectional study
Jibrin Sammani Usman, Caleb Ademola Omuwa Gbiri, Olajide Ayinla Olawale
Bulletin of Faculty of Physical Therapy
Background Although the major goal of rehabilitation is to return a stroke survivor (SSv) to as close to their pre-stroke functioning, limitation in ambulatory recovery and walking proficiency is the major impediment. Despite the importance of walking to the outcomes in stroke, factors predicting its recovery remain unclear. This study therefore was aimed at exploring the predictors of ambulatory recovery and walking proficiency in community-dwelling SSv. Methods This study involved 164
... es) SSv from four tertiary health institutions in Nigeria. Ambulatory level and status was assessed using Functional Ambulatory Classification, motor function using the Fugl-Myer Assessment scale (lower limb), and ambulatory/waking endurance using the 6-min walk test. Ambulatory capability was assessed using the Lower Extremity Functional Scale, ambulatory self-confidence using the Ambulatory Self-Confidence Questionnaire, and functional ambulatory profile using the Modified Emory Functional Ambulation Profile. Mobility was assessed using the Modified Rivermead Mobility Index, functional mobility using Time Up and Go, balance using the Berg Balance Scale, and cognitive function using the modified Mini-Mental State Examination. Spatial indexes were assessed using the Footprint method and temporal variables using a stopwatch and gait speed on a 10-m walkway. Data was analyzed using multiple regression analysis at p ≤ 0.05. Results Participants (mean age = 54.3±11.36 years) have had stroke for 12.9 ± 17.39 months and spent 9.82 ± 13.19 months in hospital admissions. More (65.2%) had ischemic stroke with 54.3% of them having left hemispheric stroke. The predictors of ambulatory onset in SSv were stroke duration and length of stay in hospital admission contributing 40.3% (β = 0.403) and 17.6% (β = 0.176) respectively to the variance. Mobility (β = 0.249, p < 0.001), gait speed (β = 0.185, p = 0.012), paretic double-limb support time (β = 0.155, p = 0.03), balance (β = 0.334, p < 0.001), and cognition (β = 0.155, p = 0.01) were predictors of ambulatory self-confidence contributing 59.5% to the variance. Balance (β = 0.363, p < 0.001) and mobility (β = 0.155, p = 0.015) were predictors of ambulatory capability contributing 52.9% to the variance. Balance (β = −0.489, p < 0.001), paretic double-limb support time (β = 0.223, p = 0.003), gait speed (β = −0.181, p = 0.022), and paretic swing phase duration (β = 0.177, p = 0.01) were predictors of functional ambulatory profile (p < 0.05) contributing 52.9% to the variance. Gait speed (β = −0.648, p < 0.001) and step length (β = −0.157, p = 0.003) were predictors of walking endurance contributing 76.5% to the variance. Conclusion Ambulatory recovery and walking proficiency depend on the interplay among duration of stroke and length of hospitalization on the one hand and balance performance, cognitive function, and the spatiotemporal integrity of the affected limb on the other hand.