Inconsistent classification of pusher behaviour in stroke patients: a direct comparison of the Scale for Contraversive Pushing and the Burke Lateropulsion Scale


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Abstract

Objective:To compare the classification of two clinical scales for assessing pusher behaviour in a cohort of stroke patients.Design:Observational case-control study.Setting:Inpatient stroke rehabilitation unit.Subjects:A sample of 23 patients with hemiparesis due to a unilateral stroke (1.6 ± 0.7 months post stroke).Methods:Immediately before and after three different interventions, the Scale for Contraversive Pushing and the Burke Lateropulsion Scale were applied in a standardized procedure.Results:The diagnosis of pusher behaviour on the basis of the Scale for Contraversive Pushing and the Burke Lateropulsion Scale differed significantly (χ2 = 54.260, p < 0.001) resulting in inconsistent classifications in 31 of 138 cases. Changes immediately after the interventions were more often detected by the Burke Lateropulsion Scales than by the Scale for Contraversive Pushing (χ2 = 19.148, p < 0.001). All cases with inconsistent classifications showed no pusher behaviour on the Scale for Contraversive Pushing, but pusher behaviour on the Burke Lateropulsion Scale. 64.5% (20 of 31) of them scored on the Burke Lateropulsion Scale on the standing and walking items only.Conclusions:The Burke Lateropulsion Scale is an appropriate alternative to the widely used Scale for Contraversive Pushing to follow-up patients with pusher behaviour (PB); it might be more sensitive to detect mild pusher behaviour in standing and walking.

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