Effects of Somatosensory Impairment on Participation After Stroke

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE.

Our objective was to determine the effect of loss of body sensation on activity participation in stroke survivors.

METHOD.

Participants (N = 268) were assessed at hospital admission for somatosensory and motor impairment using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. Participation was assessed using the Activity Card Sort (ACS) in the postacute phase. Between-group differences in activity participation were analyzed for participants with and without somatosensory impairment and with or without paresis.

RESULTS.

Somatosensory impairment was experienced in 33.6% of the sample and paresis in 42.9%. ACS profiles were obtained at a median of 222 days poststroke. Somatosensory loss alone (z = 1.96, p = .048) and paresis in upper and lower limbs without sensory loss (z = 4.62, p < .001) influenced activity participation.

CONCLUSION.

Somatosensory impairment is associated with reduced activity participation; however, paresis of upper and lower limbs can mask the contribution of sensory loss.

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