Physical, cognitive and social activity levels of stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation within a mixed rehabilitation unit

Clin Rehabil. 2014 Jan;28(1):91-101. doi: 10.1177/0269215512466252. Epub 2012 Nov 28.


Objective: To determine physical, cognitive and social activity levels of stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation, and whether these changed over time.

Design: Observational study using behavioural mapping techniques to record patient activity over 12 hours on one weekday and one weekend day at baseline (week 1) and again two weeks later (week 2).

Setting: A 20-bed mixed rehabilitation unit.

Subjects: Fourteen stroke patients.

Interventions: None.

Main measures: Percentage of day spent in any activity or physical, cognitive and social activities. Level of independence using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and mood using the Patient Health Questionniare-9 (PHQ-9).

Results: The stroke patients performed any activity for 49%, social activity for 32%, physical activity for 23% and cognitive activity for 4% of the day. Two weeks later, physical activity levels had increased by 4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 1 to 8), but levels of any activity or social and cognitive activities had not changed significantly. There was a significant: (i) positive correlation between change in physical activity and change in FIM score (r = 0.80), and (ii) negative correlation between change in social activity and change in PHQ-9 score (r = -0.72). The majority of activity was performed by the bedside (37%), and most physical (47%) and cognitive (54%) activities performed when alone. Patients undertook 5% (95% CI 2 to 9) less physical activity on the weekends compared with the weekdays.

Conclusions: Levels of physical, cognitive and social activity of stroke patients were low and remained so even though level of independence and mood improved. These findings suggest the need to explore strategies to stimulate activity within rehabilitation environments.

Keywords: Stroke; behavioural mapping; rehabilitation; social and leisure activities.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Social Participation*
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / psychology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*