Associations between executive function and physical function poststroke: a pilot study.
Associations between executive function and physical function post-stroke (PS) have not been extensively studied. More complex physiotherapy interventions PS require a greater degree of cognitive ability, especially executive function. This cross-sectional pilot study aimed to examine the associations between executive function and the performance of basic and complex gait tasks in people PS.
A convenience sample of 20 participants were recruited from a community-based voluntary stroke organisation and from the outpatient services of two urban hospitals. A combination of measures was used to measure executive function (Trail Making Test, Stroop Word-Colour Test, Zoo Map test, Frontal Assessment Battery and Digit Span backward test). Basic and complex 10metre gait tests were used to mimic aspects of physiotherapy intervention PS. Other measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Motor Assessment Scale (MAS).
Observational comparisons between participant executive function scores and age- and/or education-matched normative data demonstrated that executive dysfunction ranged between 55% and 100%. Poorer performance in measures of executive function was more frequently associated with poorer performance in complex gait tests compared with basic gait tests. The MAS was not significantly associated with any measure of executive function.
Executive dysfunction is common PS which may negatively affect physical performance. Physiotherapists should consider executive dysfunction when developing rehabilitation strategies to improve physical function PS > From Hayes et al. Physiotherapy 99 (2013) 165-171. All rights reserved to The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
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