Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Volume 38, Issue 2, Page 148-160, February 2024. IntroductionThe prevalence of upper limb motor weakness early post-stroke may be changing, which can have clinical and research implications. Our primary aim was to describe the prevalence of upper limb motor weakness early post-stroke, with a secondary aim to contextualize this prevalence by describing pre-stroke outcomes, other post-stroke impairments, functional activities, and discharge destination.MethodsThis cross-sectional observational study extracted clinical data from confirmed stroke patients admitted to a metropolitan stroke unit over 15-months. The primary upper limb weakness measure was Shoulder Abduction and Finger Extension (SAFE) score. Demographics (eg, age), clinical characteristics (eg, stroke severity), pre-stroke outcomes (eg, clinical frailty), other post-stroke impairments (eg, command following), functional activities (eg, ambulation), and discharge destination were also extracted.ResultsA total of 463 participants had a confirmed stroke and SAFE score. One-third of patients received ≥1 acute medical intervention(s). Nearly one-quarter of patients were classified as frail pre-stroke. Upper limb weakness (SAFE≤8) was present in 35% [95% CI: 30%-39%] at a median of 1-day post-stroke, with 22% presenting with mild-moderate weakness (SAFE5-8). The most common other impairments were upper limb coordination (46%), delayed recall (41%), and upper limb sensation (26%). After a median 3-day acute stroke stay, 52% of the sample were discharged home.ConclusionUpper limb weakness was present in just over a third (35%) of the sample early post-stroke. Data on pre-stroke outcomes and the prevalence of other post-stroke impairments highlights the complexity and heterogeneity of stroke recovery. Further research is required to tease out meaningful recovery phenotypes and their implications.

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This post is Copyright: Emily J. Dalton | February 10, 2024
SAGE Publications Inc STM: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair: Table of Contents