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Stroke patients show impaired ability to shift body weight

27 Aug 2017

Subacute patients with stroke (PwS) have impaired ability to shift body weight laterally and diagonally forward in the direction of their affected side, a new study has found. Moreover, maximum weight shift (MWS) is associated with balance and gait outcomes.

The study included 36 PwS who had been diagnosed with first stroke and were able to stand independently for at least 2 minutes. Those who had other musculoskeletal and neurological disorders, and communication problems were excluded.

A commercially available force platform was used to investigate MWS in PwS and healthy controls (HCs; n=32). Balance was assessed using the Berg balance scale (BBS) and community balance and mobility scale (CBMS), gait using the 10-meter walk test (10MWT), and fear of falling using the falls efficacy scale (FES).

The affected side stroke group had significantly smaller maximum voluntary weight shift in both the diagonal forward (p=0.000) and lateral directions (p=0.029) compared with the nonpreferred leg of support (PLOS) of HCs.

Comparing the nonaffected side of PwS against the PLOS of HCs showed that centre of pressure (COP) length displacement was significantly greater in PwS in both diagonal-forward (p=0.028) and lateral (p=0.034) directions.

COP distance displacement in the diagonal-forward direction was significantly different between the affected and nonaffected side of PwS (p=0.019). Specifically, MWS was larger in the nonaffected side.

COP distance displacement in all directions, in either affected or nonaffected side, significantly correlated with CBMS, 10MWT and BBS outcomes. Only COP displacement in the diagonal-backward direction of the affected side was not significantly associated with BBS.

FES outcomes were associated significantly only with lateral displacement in the affected side and diagonal-forward in the nonaffected side.

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