Objective: To assess the amount of early upright activity of patients managed in Norwegian stroke units and its association with functional outcome and health-related quality of life 3 months later.
Design: A prospective observational multi-centre study.
Subjects: A total of 390 acute stroke patients, mean age 76.8 years, 48.1% men, less than 14 days post-stroke, recruited from 11 Norwegian stroke units.
Methods: Time spent in different activity categories (in bed, sitting out of bed, upright) was observed with a standard method. Outcome was assessed by modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and health-related quality of life by EuroQol-5 Dimension 5 level (EQ-5D-5L) 3 months later. Ordinal logistic and linear regression analyses were used to examine the association between activity categories and mRS and EQ-5D-5L, respectively. Age, National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, premorbid mRS, sex, and hospital-site were added as covariates.
Results: The odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) for poorer functional outcome (higher mRS) decreased as time spent in upright activities increased (OR 0.97 (95% CI 0.94-1.00)). There was also a significant positive association between time in upright activity and higher EQ-5D-5L, Beta 0.184 (95% CI 0.001- 0.008) 3 months later.
Conclusion: This study confirms the beneficial effect of upright activity applied during hospital stay in Norwegian stroke units.