Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2018 , Vol 64 , Num 4

The differences in functional recovery between HIV-positive and HIV-negative stroke survivors

Jenny Janse van Rensburg 1 ,Witness Mudzi 1 ,Veronica Ntsiea 1
1 Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2018.1708 Objectives: This study aims to identify the differences in functional abilities between stroke survivors who are human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and HIV-negative.

Patients and methods: This was a retrospective, longitudinal record review of stroke survivors` files between April 2005 and December 2010. Of a total of 173 stroke survivors who were admitted to the rehabilitation unit, 141 (75 males, 66 females; mean age 52.7±14.3 years; range, 19 to 86 years) met the inclusion criteria. The patients were divided into two groups as HIV-positive (n=21) and HIV-negative (n=120). Functional ability was recorded using the admission and discharge BETA® scores.

Results: Ischemic strokes were more prevalent than hemorrhagic strokes (74.5% vs. 25.5%, respectively) with hypertension as the most common (31.9%) stroke risk factor. The mean age of stroke onset for HIV-positive patients and HIV-negative patients was 39.6 years and 54.9 years, respectively. In HIV-positive patients, the mean duration of rehabilitation was 7.5-day shorter than HIV-negative patients. After receiving rehabilitation from a multidisciplinary team, the HIV-positive group improved with a mean of 40 points and the HIV-negative group improved with a mean of 38 points. The similarities in functional outcome between the HIV-positive and HIV-negative group were related to the fact that HIV-positive stroke survivors were relatively younger than the HIV-negative group.

Conclusion: Our study results show that patients who sustain a stroke, are HIV-positive, are receiving antiretroviral therapy and rehabilitation may recover similar to those who are HIV-negative, spending a similar length of stay in a rehabilitation clinic. Therefore, stroke survivors who are HIV-positive should receive full rehabilitation similar to any other stroke survivors. Keywords : Comorbidity; functional ability; human immunodeficiency virus; stroke