Does outcome of neuropsychological treatment in patients with unilateral spatial neglect after stroke affect functional outcome?

A. Matano, M. Iosa, C. Guariglia, L. Pizzamiglio, S. Paolucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) after stroke is associated to severe disability and to a poor rehabilitation outcome. However it is still unclear if a reduction of USN after a specific neurophsycological treatment could also favor the functional recovery. Aim. The first aim of this study was to determine if low responders to neuropsychological treatment of unilateral spatial neglect may have a worse functional prognosis for activities of daily living. The second aim was to investigate which variables can predict a low response to neuropsychological treatment. Design. Observational study. Setting. Neurorehabilitation hospital in Italy. Population. Two hundred inpatients with the diagnosis of ischemic stroke were screened in this observational study. Inclusion criteria were: patients in subacute phase of first ischemic stroke in right hemisphere. Exclusion criteria were: presence of previous and/or other disabling pathologies, medical conditions contraindicating physical therapy. Data of 73 patients who performed neurorehabilitation and visual scanning training for reducing USN were analysed, while the remaining others were excluded for at least one of the following reasons: hemorrhagic lesions, presence of other chronic disabling pathologies, contraindications for therapy. Methods. USN was evaluated using: Letter Cancellation Test, Barrage Test, Sentence Reading Test and Wundt-Jastrow Area Illusion Test. Barthel Index (BI), Beck Depression Inventory, and Canadian Neurological Scale were also administered. According to the aim of the study, forward binary logistic regressions were performed to evaluate the effects of different factors on functional recovery. Results. Three factors were identified as predictors of low effectiveness in terms of BI-score: older age (odds ratio OR=9.882, P=0.002), severity of disease at admission (OR=12.594, P=0.002) and being low responders to neuropsychological treatment (OR=3.847, P=0.027). Further, the initial barrage score (OR=3.313, P=0.027) and the initial BI-score (OR=3.252, P=0.039) effectively predict the response to neuropsychological treatment. Conclusion. The outcome of the whole rehabilitation resulted affected by the outcome of neuropsychological treatment in patients with USN, being a low score at Barrage test at the beginning of therapy a negative predictor of USN recovery. Clinical Rehabilitation Impact. Patients with USN after stroke can benefit of a specific training for reducing USN also in terms of functional outcome. Further, the simple use of Barrage test could provide important prognostic information about recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-743
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Hemiplegia
  • Neurology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Does outcome of neuropsychological treatment in patients with unilateral spatial neglect after stroke affect functional outcome?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this