Profile of Patients at Admission into an Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Programme: Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Functional Characteristics
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PURPOSE: The purposes of this study were to characterize the cardiorespiratory capacity of individuals on admission to inpatient rehabilitation following stroke and to examine the relationship between measures of cardiorespiratory capacity and standard indices of neurological deficit and functional status. METHODS: We recruited 45 patients within the first 10 days of admission to rehabilitation. We performed measures of aerobic fitness (VO(2)peak), functional status (Functional Independence Measure [FIM] and Clinical Outcomes Variable Score [COVS]), and neurological deficit (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] and Chedoke-McMaster Stroke Assessment scale [CMSA]). RESULTS: Nineteen women and 26 men with a mean (SD) age of 65.2 (14.5) years were admitted to rehabilitation 16.2 (11.9) (minimum 3, maximum 62) days post-stroke. Average VO(2)peak was less than half the value expected in age-matched healthy individuals at 11.1 (3.1) ml/kg/min. The associations between VO(2)peak and FIM, NIHSS, and COVS were weak (r = 0.25, -0.12, and 0.26 respectively, p = 0.12, 0.46, and 0.10 respectively). There were no differences in VO(2)peak in higher-functioning individuals with CMSA leg scores of 5 and 6 compared to lower-functioning individuals with scores of 3 and 4 (p = 0.30). CONCLUSION: Cardiorespiratory capacity is extremely low in individuals during the first 3 months after stroke. Alternative measures of functional or clinical status do not adequately reflect this cardiorespiratory state; thus, routine measurement of cardiorespiratory capacity should be considered, along with a risk-factor profile.
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