Quantifying Nonuse in Chronic Stroke Patients: A Study Into Paretic, Nonparetic, and Bimanual Upper-Limb Use in Daily Life

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Objective: To quantify uni- and bimanual upper-limb use in patients with chronic stroke in daily life compared with healthy controls. Design: Cross-sectional observational study. Setting: Outpatient rehabilitation center. Participants: Patients with chronic stroke (n=38) and healthy controls (n=18). Intervention: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Upper-limb use in daily life was measured with an accelerometry-based upper-limb activity monitor, an accelerometer based measurement device. Unimanual use of the paretic and the nonparetic side and bimanual upper-limb use were measured for a period of 24 hours. Outcomes were expressed in terms of both duration and intensity. Results: Patients used their unaffected limb much more than their affected limb (5.3h vs 2.4h), while controls used both limbs a more equal amount of time (5.4h vs 5.1h). Patients used their paretic side less than controls used their nondominant side and their nonparetic side more than controls their dominant side. The intensity with which patients used their paretic side was lower than that with which controls used their nondominant side, while that of the nonparetic side was higher than that o Conclusion: Our data show considerable nonuse of the paretic side, both in duration and in intensity, and both during unimanual and bimanual activities in patients with chronic stroke. Patients do compensate for this with increased use of the nonparetic side.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1975-1981
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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