Validation of the screening instrument for neuropsychological impairment in stroke

Physiother Res Int. 1998;3(1):15-26. doi: 10.1002/pri.119.


Background and purpose: Full neuropsychological assessment is time-consuming and exhausting for the patient in the early phase of stroke. The screening instrument for neuropsychological impairment in stroke (SINS) is a brief, bedside-applicable instrument designed to screen perceptual and cognitive dysfunction related to functional activities in stroke. It has been developed by physiotherapists to be incorporated in the general assessment of the patient. This study evaluates the validity of the method against a more extensive reference method assessing cognitive function.

Methods and results: An unselected group of hospitalized stroke patients (N = 87) was assessed 10 days and 12 months after stroke. Factor analyses (52% explained variance), identified three factors: 'aphasia', 'apraxia' and 'visuocognitive dysfunction'. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves demonstrated that for all factors, high specificity was maintained at the high sensitivity needed for a screening method. Kendall rank correlation coefficients between the scorings on the new instrument and the reference method were high. Effect size analysis showed that the ability of the new instrument to detect change in cognitive functioning during the first year was of the same magnitude as the reference method.

Conclusions: SINS has a high sensitivity regarding cognitive dysfunction, as diagnosed by the more comprehensive and time-consuming reference method. The instrument would be useful as an initial step in the assessment of neuropsychological impairment in stroke patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Perceptual Disorders / diagnosis
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity