Sensory impairments of the lower limb after stroke: A pooled analysis of individual patient data

Sarah Tyson, J. Crow, Louise Connell, Charlotte Winward, Susan Hillier

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    Objective: To obtain more generalizable information on the frequency and factors influencing sensory impairment after stroke and their relationship to mobility and function. Method: A pooled analysis of individual data of stroke survivors (N = 459); mean (SD) age = 67.2 (14.8) years, 54% male, mean (SD) time since stroke = 22.33 (63.1) days, 50% ft-sided weakness. Where different measurement tools were used, data were recoded. Descriptive statistics described frequency of sensory impairments, kappa coefficients investigated relationships between sensory modalities, binary logistic regression explored the factors influencing sensory impairments, and linear regression assessed the impact of sensory impairments on activity limitations. Results: Most patients' sensation was intact (55%), and individual sensory modalities were highly associated (κ = 0.60, P <.001). Weakness and neglect influenced sensory impairment (P <.001), but demographics, stroke pathology, and spasticity did not. Sensation influenced independence in activities of daily living, mobility, and balance but less strongly than weakness. Conclusions: Pooled individual data analysis showed sensation of the lower limb is grossly preserved in most stroke survivors but, when present, it affects function. Sensory modalities are highly interrelated; interventions that treat the motor system during functional tasks may be as effective at treating the sensory system as sensory retraining alone. © 2013 Thomas Land Publishers, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)441-449
    Number of pages8
    JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • balance
    • mobility
    • proprioception
    • recovery
    • sensation
    • stroke
    • tactile


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