Relationship of Cognitive and Perceptual Abilities to Functional Independence in Adults Who Have Had a Stroke

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Most individuals who have had a stroke present with some degree of residual cognitive and/or perceptual impairment. Occupational therapists often utilize standardized cognitive and perceptual assessments with clients to establish a baseline of skill performance as well as to inform goal setting and intervention planning. Being able to predict the functional independence of individuals who have had a stroke based on cognitive and perceptual impairments would assist with appropriate discharge planning and follow-up resource allocation. The study objective was to investigate the ability of the Developmental Test of Visual Perception – Adolescents and Adults (DTVP-A) and the Neurobehavioural Cognitive Status Exam (Cognistat) to predict the functional performance as measured by the Barthel Index of individuals who have had a stroke. Data was collected using the DTVP-A, Cognistat and the Barthal Index from 32 adults recovering from stroke. Two standard multiple regression models were used to determine predictive variables of the functional independence dependent variable. Both the Cognistat and DTVP-A had a statistically significant ability to predict functional performance (as measured by the Barthel Index) accounting for 64.4% and 27.9% of each regression model, respectively. Two Cognistat subscales (Comprehension [beta = 0.48; p < 0.001)] and Repetition [beta = 0.45; p < 0.004]) and one DTVP-A subscale (Copying [beta = 0.46; p < 0.014]) made statistically significant contributions to the regression models as independent variables. On the basis of the regression model findings, it appears that DTVP-A's Copying and the Cognistat's Comprehension and Repetition subscales are useful in predicting the functional independence (as measured by the Barthel Index) in those individuals who have had a stroke. Given the fundamental importance that cognition and perception has for one's ability to function independently, further investigation is warranted to determine other predictors of functional performance of individuals with a stroke. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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