Are indexes of arm recovery related to daily life autonomy in patients with stroke?

N. Smania, M. Gambarin, M. Tinazzi, A. Picelli, A. Fiaschi, G. Moretto, P. Bovi, S. Paolucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. The level of daily life autonomy in patients with stroke may be related to recovery of affected arm function. The aim of the study was to assess whether four simple bedside indexes of arm recovery can predict levels of autonomy in daily life activities. Methods. A consecutive sample of 48 patients presenting with upper limb paresis/plegla in the acute stage after stroke was selected. Patients underwent five evaluation sessions at 7,14,30,90 and 180 days after stroke. Forward stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to clarify the role of four potential predictors of upper limb recovery (active finger extension, shoulder abduction, shoulder shrug and hand movement scales). Dependent variables in these models were the Barthel Index score and sub-items of the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Scale. Results. The active finger extension scale showed a highly significant statistical correlation with patient performance in nearly all outcome measures. The shoulder shrug correlated with the BI score, and with the dressing and hygiene Burke-Fahn-Marsden Scale sub-items. Shoulder abduction and hand movement scale played only a minor role. Conclusion. The active finger extension scale proved to be a strong early predictor of recovery of daily life autonomy in patients with stroke. This finding could be important in order to planning a specific rehabilitation treatment after the onset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


  • Disability evaluation
  • Outcome assessment (health care)
  • Prognosis
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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