Few well-designed descriptive studies focus exclusively on patients after motor stroke. This study describes a cohort of participants after motor stroke and assesses the extent to which five key variables explain the variation in functional recovery 3 months after stroke. Prospective data were collected (N = 100) on age, lesion volume, motor strength, cognition, and poststroke function during the acute care hospital admission. Instruments included magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide a measure of lesion volume, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE) to measure cognitive status, and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) to measure motor strength. The Functional Independence Measure (FIMTM) was used to measure baseline function and functional recovery 3 months after stroke. Descriptive and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to describe the cohort and predict functional recovery. The means for key variables during acute care were 65 (±15) years of age, lesion volume 21.5 (±44.7) cm3, NIHSS 6.34 (±3.55), MMSE 24.38 (±4.82), NCSE 64.33 (±13), and FIMTM 94.05 (±19.31). Age, cognitive status, and initial function accounted for 42% of the variance in functional recovery 3 months after stroke. Results indicate that neuroscience nurses need to add cognition to their focus during the fast-paced acute phase of care following motor stroke.
Janice L. Hinkle, PhD RN CNRN, can be reached at 44 (0) 01865 220346 or Janice.Hinkle@ndm.ox.ac.uk. She is currently a senior research fellow at Oxford Brookes University, funded by the Medical Research Council. At the time this research was conducted, she was a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.
© 2006 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses