Factors contributing to upper limb recovery after stroke: a survey of stroke survivors in Queensland Australia

Disabil Rehabil. 2007 Jul 15;29(13):981-9. doi: 10.1080/09638280500243570.


Purpose: To identify factors which contribute to upper limb recovery, from the perspective of stroke survivors.

Method: A retrospective cross-sectional survey was administered by post to 220 stroke survivors with upper limb impairment who were more than 3 months post-stroke. The content and language for the questionnaire were drawn from a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews with stroke survivors (n = 29). Where possible items or composite scales were replicated or adapted from existing surveys.

Results: Many factors regarding the stroke survivors' commitment to recovery, the type and amount of exercise undertaken and their knowledge of how to progress were associated with self-reported upper limb recovery. The single most important factor was 'use of the arm in everyday tasks', which was independently responsible for more than 12% of the variance in recovery. 'Not enough movement to work with' was the second most important factor, representing the greatest barrier to recovery.

Conclusions: The findings of this survey highlight many practical day to day factors that may contribute to a stroke survivor's ability to advance the recovery of their upper limb. Stroke recovery services can use this information to tailor their services to ensure these practical concerns are addressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Queensland
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Survivors
  • Task Performance and Analysis