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Executive dysfunction and balance function post-stroke: A cross-sectional study

Abstract

Objectives

This study investigated the: (1) prevalence of executive dysfunction (ED); (2) demographic and clinical differences between participants with ED and without ED and; (3) independent association between executive function (EF) and balance post-stroke.

Design

Prospective observational cross-sectional study.

Setting

Four large acute hospitals.

Participants

: Convenience sample of people with first stroke.

Main outcome

: Balance function.

Secondary outcomes

: EF, stroke severity, depression and global cognition.

Methods

Descriptive statistics were used to report the prevalence of ED post-stroke. Comparisons of demographic and clinical characteristics were made between participants with ED and participants without ED using independent t-tests. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis determined the association between EF and balance post-stroke.

Results

Participant (n  = 100) age ranged from 31 to 98 years, time since stroke ranged from 4 to 180 days and the participants reported formal education ranging from 7 to 21 years. Participants with ED had more severe strokes (BADS) [median (IQR) vs median (IQR), p-value] [(44 (16) vs (51 (7), p < 0.01], poorer global cognition [24 (6) vs 29 (2), p < 0.01] and poorer balance [29 (40) vs 46.5 (17), p < 0.01] in comparison with participants without ED. Age (β = −0.24, p < 0.05), years in education, (β = −0.21, p < 0.05), stroke severity (β = 0.71, p < 0.01), time since stroke, (β = −0.17, p < 0.01) and EF (β = 0.19, p  < 0.05) were independently associated with balance post-stroke. The total variance in balance explained by the model was 72%.

Conclusions

ED is independently associated with balance post-stroke. Physiotherapists should consider this when developing rehabilitation strategies to improve balance post-stroke.

Cite this article

Executive dysfunction and balance function post-stroke: A cross-sectional study.

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