Content » Vol 52, Issue 4

Original report

Levels of physical activity in acute stroke patients treated at a stroke unit: A prospective, observational study

Eric Chen, Adam Viktorisson, Anna Danielsson, Annie Palstam, Katharina S. Sunnerhagen
Department of Clinical Neuroscience , Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2671

Abstract

Objective: A prospective, observational study to describe levels of physical activity in patients with stroke on day 2 and day 5 or 6 after admission to a comprehensive stroke unit in Sweden.
Methods: The study was performed at the stroke unit at Sahlgrenska University Hospital during a period of 4 months between 2017 and 2018. Consecutive patients with stroke were observed for 1 min every 10 min while the multidisciplinary team was at work. The level of physical activity, location and the people present were noted at each time-point.
Results: A total of 46 patients were observed on day 2, of whom 29 were observed a second time on day 5 or 6. Patients were in bed half of the time and engaged in upright activity for less than 10% of day 2. Patients spent 73% of day 2 in the bedroom and 56% of this day alone. Over time, there was a significant shift of 10% from “in bed” activity to “sitting” (p <0.001).
Conclusion: Patients are physically inactive, alone and in their rooms for a majority of the time during the first days at a comprehensive stroke unit. There is some increase in physical activity during the first week after admission.

Lay Abstract

This study aimed to map physical activity in patients treated at a stroke unit in Sweden between day 2 and day 5 or 6 after admission to hospital. The patients were observed for 1 min every 10 min between 08:00 h and 17.00 h on these days. A total of 46 patients were observed on day 2, of whom 29 were observed again on day 5 or 6. These results show that patients are inactive, alone and in their rooms for a majority of the time at the stroke unit. This study also shows that there is some increase in physical activity over time during the first days of the hospital stay.

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