Assessment of upper extremity impairment, function, and activity after stroke: Foundations for clinical decision making

Catherine E. Lang, Marghuretta D. Bland, Ryan R. Bailey, Sydney Y. Schaefer, Rebecca L. Birkenmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive approach for assessing the upper extremity (UE) after stroke. First, common UE impairments and how to assess them are briefly discussed. Although multiple UE impairments are typically present after stroke, the severity of one's impairment, paresis, is the primary determinant of UE functional loss. Second, UE function is operationally defined and a number of clinical measures are discussed. It is important to consider how impairment and loss of function affect UE activity outside of the clinical environment. Thus, this review also identifies accelerometry as an objective method for assessing UE activity in daily life. Finally, the role that each of these levels of assessment should play in clinical decision making is discussed to optimize the provision of stroke rehabilitation services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-115
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hand Therapy
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Clinical decision making
  • Outcomes
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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