Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2010 , Vol 56 , Num 2
Assessment of Balance in Patients with Stroke
Emine Eda Kurt 1 ,Sibel Ünsal Delialioğlu 2 ,Sumru Özel 3
1 Rize Training and Research Hospital, Clinic of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rize, Turkey
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
3 Clinic of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.56.56

Objective: Assessment of balance in patients with stroke, finding out the relation between balance and demographic characteristics and motor functions of lower and upper extremities and determining the effect of balance impairment on hospital length of stay and the rehabilitation results. 
 

Materials and Methods: The study included a total of 158 patients (89 men, 69 women) with stroke aged between 42 and 75. Patients' demographic data were recorded. Level of balance and postural control were assessed using Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Trunk Control Test (TCT), motor function was evaluated by Brunnstrom Motor Improvement Staging (BMIS) and ambulation by Functional Ambulation Classification. Functional Independence Measurement (FIM) was used for functional assessment. 
 

Results: On admission, 44.9% (n=71) of patients had impaired balance, 41,1% (n=65) had acceptable levels of balance, and 13.9% had good balance. It was found that of the demographic properties, only age affected BBS scores and that the mean score of the patients aged 65 years and older (17.66±15.04) was significantly lower than that of the patients under 65 (24.14±14.67) (p=0.007). A positive significant correlation was found between upper-lower extremities motor function and balance scores. Hospital length of stay of patients with impaired balance was significantly longer than that of the other groups (acceptable balance and good balance). The mean FIM scores of patients with impaired balance on admission and discharge were significantly lower than those of the other groups.
 

Conclusion: Balance impairment is common in patients with stroke who may have both sitting and standing balance impairment. Hospital length of stay is prolonged due to balance impairment and the patients get less benefit from rehabilitation. Therefore, patients with stroke must be examined in detail with respect to balance before beginning rehabilitation, and presence or non-presence of balance impairment must be taken into account when setting the targets of rehabilitation.

Keywords : Stroke, Berg Balance Scale, Trunk Control Test, length of stay