Aims and objectives: To explore first-time stroke patients' degree of independence in activities of daily life in relation to sleep and other essential variables that might influence activities of daily life.
Background: Sleep has received little attention in rehabilitation of activities of daily life in stroke patients.
Design: This is a longitudinal survey and observational study design from the acute phase to six months poststroke.
Methods: First-time stroke patients (n = 90) were recruited from two hospitals in eastern Norway in 2007 and 2008. Data were collected by survey interview, medical records and wrist actigraphy in the first two weeks at the hospital and at six months of follow-up. Actigraph measures patient activity and estimates sleep during the day and night.
Results: Linear regression showed that high dependence in personal activities of daily living was directly related to low estimated sleep time at night and higher estimated sleep during the day in the acute phase, controlling for socio-demographic and clinical variables. Furthermore, high estimated numbers of awakenings in the acute phase were related to lower activities of daily life functioning at six months of follow-up after controlling for socio-demographic and clinical variables. Stronger pain and a lower physical functioning showed direct relationships with lower independency level of in activities of daily life both in the acute phase and after six months.
Conclusions: Sleep patterns in the acute phase may influence the patients' activities of daily life functioning up to six months poststroke. Furthermore, pain in the acute phase may influence the level of activities of daily life functioning in stroke patients.
Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses should pay attention to stroke patients' sleep quality and pain in the rehabilitation period after a stroke. Facilitating good sleep conditions and screening for pain should be an integral part of the rehabilitation programme.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.