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Grip Strength on the Unaffected Side as an Independent Predictor of Functional Improvement After Stroke

Yi, Youbin MD; Shim, Jae Seong MD; Oh, Byung-Mo MD, PhD; Seo, Han Gil MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: September 2017 - Volume 96 - Issue 9 - p 616–620
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000694
Original Research Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between grip strength on the unaffected side and post-stroke functional improvement.

Design: A total of 127 patients with unilateral stroke were included in this study. Demographic data, clinical data on initial grip strength, initial National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, admission and discharge Modified Barthel Index (MBI), and stroke profiles were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were carried out to evaluate the predictive values of each variable. In the model for discharge MBI, age, initial National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, grip strength on the unaffected side, lesion side, and admission MBI were shown to be independent predictors. Meanwhile, grip strength on the unaffected side, lesion side, and admission MBI had significant predictive values in the model for difference between admission and discharge MBI.

Conclusion: The current study suggests for the first time that grip strength on the unaffected side is an independent predictor for short-term functional gain and outcome after stroke. This result may change post-stroke rehabilitation strategies to emphasize exercises to prevent loss of muscle strength. In addition, this implies the possibility of a relationship between sarcopenia and post-stroke function. Further research is needed to reveal the effect of sarcopenia on stroke patients and its mechanism.

From the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul (YY); Sejong Public Health Center, Sejong-si (JSS); and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital (B-MO, HGS), Republic of Korea.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Han Gil Seo, MD, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul 110-744, Republic of Korea.

The study was conducted in accordance with the law of South Korea. Approval for use of the patients' data was granted by the institutional review board of the authors' hospital.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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