Objective: This study investigated the clinical predictive value of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) arm score and the upper limb activity assessed by accelerometers in patients with hemiparesis after acute stroke.
Design: The prospective cohort (n = 129) was recruited from a general hospital; activity variables and FMA score at intake were related to the FMA, the modified Rankin Scale, and rehabilitation status after 3 mos of follow-up. The prediction model was based on binary logistic regression.
Results: Although the FMA score at intake has the best overall predictive value for all three outcome measures (FMA3, 87.6%; modified Rankin Scale, 85.3%; RS, 73.6%), the activity of the impaired arm as assessed by the accelerometer has the best predictive value to determine patients who are at risk for continued disability (modified Rankin Scale score 1, 95.1%). The most difficult outcome measure for prediction is the rehabilitation status; specifically, the patients who went home are predicted imprecisely. The ratio variable is the least accurate predictor of all tested variables.
Conclusions: The FMA arm score at intake is the best predictor for arm recovery and general disability. The activity of the impaired arm is an excellent predictor for prolonged disability and is an alternative to the FMA score when it is impossible to score the FMA in the acute phase of stroke.