Content » Vol 45, Issue 10

Original report

A mapping study on physical activity in stroke rehabilitation: Establishing the baseline

Monica Skarin, Anna Sjöholm, Åsa Lundgren Nilsson, Michael Nilsson, Julie Bernhardt, Thomas Lindén
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 41345 Göteborg, Sweden
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1214


Objective: To establish physical activity level, environment and social interaction in routine stroke rehabilitation practice.
Design: Prospective observational study using behavioural mapping.
Methods: Patients at 4 hospital stroke rehabilitation units in Sweden at least 7 days post-stroke were observed over 1 week-day at 10 min intervals between 08.00 h and 17.00 h. At each observation, physical activity, location and people present were ascertained.
Results: Patients (n = 104) had a mean age of 70.3 (standard deviation (SD) 14.4) years. Median time since stroke was 19 (range 7–142) days. Patients were alone for 52% of the day, during this time 7% was spent in standing/walking activities. While with a physiotherapist patients were standing/walking for 43% of the time. Using median regression it was found that the median percentage of time spent in standing/walking was associated with gait independence and age. Gait independence increased the median percentage of time spent in standing/walking by 16.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 12.1–20.9, p < 0.001), while an increase of 1 year of age reduced the median percentage of time spent in standing/walking by 0.16% (95% CI –0.31 to –0.01, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Patients had low levels of physical activity and social interaction. This study suggests that there is a huge potential to increase patients’ activity level and augment social interaction above current levels.

Lay Abstract


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