Factors associated with community ambulation in chronic stroke.

Disability and rehabilitation

PubMedID: 25856203

Durcan S, Flavin E, Horgan F. Factors associated with community ambulation in chronic stroke. Disabil Rehabil. 2015;1-5.
PURPOSE
Loss of independent community ambulation is one of the most disabling consequences of stroke. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of multiple personal and post-stroke factors with community ambulation in persons between 1- and 3-year post-stroke.

METHODS
This was a cross-sectional study of 40 community-dwelling stroke patients, >18 years, between 1- and 3-year post-stroke. The main outcome measures used were self-report community ambulation questionnaire, demographic information, 10-M Walk Test, Timed Up and Go test, Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale, Fatigue Severity Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Trail-Making Test-Part B, Single Letter Cancellation Test.

RESULTS
Age, number of medications and use of a walking aid were found to be significantly associated with community ambulation (p?=?0.05). Gait speed, walking balance and balance self-efficacy were also found to be significantly associated with community ambulation (p?=?0.05). Balance self-efficacy was the only factor independently associated with community ambulation post-stroke (p?=?0.05).

CONCLUSION
Balance self-efficacy may be a significant determinant in the attainment of independent community ambulation post-stroke. This suggests that physical aspects such as gait speed and walking balance should not be considered in isolation when addressing community ambulation post-stroke. Implications for Rehabilitation Balance self-efficacy may play a significant role in the attainment of independent community ambulation in a chronic stroke population. Physiotherapy interventions addressing community ambulation post-stroke should consider methods for improving balance self-efficacy in chronic stroke, such as self management programmes.