BACKGROUND: Determining the functional abilities and factors influencing outcome of patients with stroke following
rehabilitation are essential for the planning of future interventions and services in order to optimise recovery.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the activity limitations and factors influencing functional outcome of patients with stroke
managed at a specialised rehabilitation centre.
METHODOLOGY: A longitudinal study design was used to determine the functional outcomes of patients admitted to the
centre on admission and discharge. A data gathering sheet was developed to collect information pertaining to the demographicand
medical profile and process of rehabilitation, whereas the Barthel Index was used to collect data relating to functional
abilities. For analysis, descriptive statistics as well as inferential statistics (Student t test) were utilised to determine the paired
differences. Six prognostic factors influencing functional outcome were selected and tested using linear (bivariate) regression.
RESULTS: The mean Barthel Index scores on admission and at discharge were 58.85 and 81.59 respectively. A significant
improvement was noted in the execution of functional task of patients with stroke (p< 0.01) between the data collection
points. Despite the significant overall improvement, results show a high prevalence of dependence with walking and stair
climbing at discharge. Only functional ability on admission (r=0.49) predicted a favourable functional outcome at discharge.
CONCLUSION: This study highlights the limitations of younger stroke survivors and the need for continued rehabilitation
following in-patient care. It further underscores the administration of a functional rating scale on admission in order to
aggressively manage activity limitations.