Objective: To investigate the relationship between grip and pinch strength and independence in activities of daily living (ADL) in stroke patients.
Methods: Medical records of 577 stroke patients from January 2010 to February 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients' grip and pinch strength of both hemiplegic and non-hemiplegic hands and the Korean version of Modified Barthel Index (K-MBI) score were collected. These patients were divided into three groups: group A (onset duration: ≤3 months), group B (onset duration: >3 months and <2 years), and group C (onset duration: ≥2 years). The correlation between grip and pinch strength and the K-MBI score was analyzed.
Results: In group A (95 patients), the K-MBI score was significantly (p<0.05) correlated with the grip and pinch strength of both hands in patients with right hemiplegia. Significant (p<0.05) correlation between the K-MBI score and the grip and pinch strength of the hemiplegic hand was shown in patients with left hemiplegia. In group B (69 patients) and group C (73 patients), the K-MBI score was significantly (p<0.05) correlated with the grip and pinch strength of the hemiplegic hand.
Conclusion: Stroke patients in subacute stage mainly performed activities of daily living using their dominant hand. However, independence in ADL was associated with the strength of the affected dominant hand. For stroke patients in chronic and late chronic stages, their hand power of the affected hand was associated with independence in ADL regardless whether the dominant hand was affected.
Keywords: Activities of daily living; Functional laterality; Hand strength; Pinch strength; Stroke.