Associations Between Adherence to the Physical Activity and Exercise Program Applied in the LAST Study and Functional Recovery After Stroke
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2019, 1-9. 10.1016/j.apmr.2019.04.023
Objective To investigate the associations between participants’ adherence to a physical activity and exercise program after stroke and functional recovery 18 months after inclusion. Design Secondary analyses of the intervention arm in the multisite randomized controlled trial Life After Stroke (LAST). Setting Primary health care services in 3 Norwegian municipalities. Participants Of the participants enrolled (N=380), 186 (48.9%) were randomized to the intervention. The study sample comprised community dwelling individuals included 3 months after stroke, with mean age of 71.7 ± 11.9 years and 82 (44.1%) women. According to the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, 97.3% were diagnosed as having mild (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale<8) and 2.7% with moderate (8-16 on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale) stroke. Intervention Monthly coaching by physiotherapists encouraging participants to adhere to 30 minutes of daily physical activity and 45-60 minutes of weekly exercise. Main Outcome Measures The primary outcome was Motor Assessment Scale (MAS). Secondary outcome measures were 6-minute walk test, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and the physical domains of the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS). Adherence was assessed by combining participants’ training diaries and physiotherapists’ reports. Results The relationship between adherence and functional recovery was analyzed with simple and multiple linear regression models. Adjusted for age, sex, dependency, and cognition, results showed statistically significant associations between adherence and functional outcomes after 18 months, as measured by MAS, TUG, BBS, and SIS (P≤.026). Conclusions Increased adherence to physical activity and exercise was associated with improved functional recovery after mild to moderate stroke. This emphasizes the importance of developing adherence-enhancing interventions. Dose-response studies are recommended for future research.