Predicting recovery of voluntary upper extremity movement in subacute stroke patients with severe upper extremity paresis

Author(s): Koh CL, Pan SL, Jeng JS, Chen BB, Wang YH, et al.


Background and objective:Prediction of voluntary upper extremity (UE) movement recovery is largely unknown in patients with little voluntary UE movement at admission. The present study aimed to investigate (1) the extent and variation of voluntary UE movement recovery, and (2) the best predictive model of the recovery of voluntary UE movement by clinical variables in patients with severe UE paresis.

Design:Prospective cohort study.

Methods:140 (out of 590) stroke patients with severe UE paresis completed all assessments. Voluntary UE movement was assessed using the UE subscale of the Stroke Rehabilitation Assessment of Movement (STREAM-UE). Two outcome measures, STREAM-UE scores at discharge (DC(STREAM-UE)) and changes between admission and discharge (Δ(STREAM-UE)), were investigated to represent the final states and improvement of the recovery of voluntary UE movement. Stepwise regression analyses were used to investigate 19 clinical variables and to find the best predictive models of the two outcome measures.

Results:The participants showed wide variation in both DC(STREAM-UE) and Δ(STREAM-UE). 3.6% of the participants almost fully recovered at discharge (DC(STREAM-UE) > 15). A large improvement (Δ(STREAM-UE) >= 10) occurred in 16.4% of the participants, while 32.9% of the participants did not have any improvement. The four predictors for the DC(STREAM-UE) (R(2) = 35.0%) were 'baseline STREAM-UE score', 'hemorrhagic stroke', 'baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score', and 'cortical lesion excluding primary motor cortex'. The three predictors for the Δ(STREAM-UE) (R(2) = 22.0%) were 'hemorrhagic stroke', 'baseline NIHSS score', and 'cortical lesion excluding primary motor cortex'.

Conclusions:Recovery of voluntary UE movement varied widely in patients with severe UE paresis after stroke. The predictive power of clinical variables was poor. Both results indicate the complex nature of voluntary UE movement recovery in patients with severe UE paresis after stroke.

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