Original Research

The influence of demographic, environmental and physical factors on functional independence post stroke

M.V. Mamabolo, W. Mudzi, A.S. Stewart, N.P. Mbambo, S. Olorunju
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 64, No 3 | a110 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v64i3.110 | © 2008 M.V. Mamabolo, W. Mudzi, A.S. Stewart, N.P. Mbambo, S. Olorunju | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 January 2008 | Published: 08 January 2008

About the author(s)

M.V. Mamabolo, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
W. Mudzi, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
A.S. Stewart, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
N.P. Mbambo, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
S. Olorunju, Department of Biostatistics, Medical Research Council of South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose: The magnitude of disability observed in strokesurvivors is believed to be dependent in part, on the severity of neurological deficits incurred. A s important but less well understood, is thecontribution of demographic, physical and environmental factors. The objective of this study was to establish what demographic, environmentaland physical factors influence functional independence post stroke. Method: Convenience sampling was used in the selection of subjects from four stroke outpatient public health facilities in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. The data were collected using a structured questionnaire. The analytical tools used included descriptive statistics to measure percentages and cross tabulations to measure the level of associations between functional independence and some of the demographic factors. The Barthel Index was computed to establish the degree of functional independence. Finally the influence of factors on functional independence was investigated using bivariate logistic regressions.Results: The results showed that younger patients (18 - 34 yrs) may have a higher likelihood of functional independence compared to older patients at the time of discharge from hospital (18 - 34 years: Odds Ratio = 1). Patients without helpers were more likely to be functionally independent than those with a helper (p = 0.03). Involvement in household activities (p = 0.01), participation in community activities (p = 0.02) and bowel and bladder continence (p = 0.003 and p = 0.04) improved the likelihood of functional independence.Conclusion and im plications: Factors that influence functional independence post stroke are: age, bowel and bladder continence, the presence of a caregiver, participation in household and community activities. It is also of value to encourage patients to participate in household and community activities post stroke as well as being less dependent on helpers in an effort to attain functional independence post stroke.

Keywords

stroke; functional independence

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