Acute spatial neglect impairs functional mobility

Acute spatial neglect in patients with right brain stroke has a negative impact on regaining of functional mobility in the community, according to study results published in PM&R. Spatial neglect is a disabling disorder of functional vision that can complicate recovery after right brain stroke.

Researchers assessed spatial neglect in 31 patients with right brain stroke who demonstrated spatial neglect within 2 months post stroke using the Behavioral Inattention Test (BIT) and Catherine Bergego Scale (CBS).

Outcome measures included community mobility, defined by the extent and frequency of traveling in home and community, assessed with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging Life-Space Assessment (LSA) after participants returned home more than 6 months post-stroke. Covariates included age, gender, functional independence at baseline, follow-up interval and depressed mood.

After controlling for all covariates, researchers found lower BIT score was a significant predictor of lower LSA score. Study results showed 27.3% with moderate acute neglect and 72.7% with severe acute neglect were unable to travel independently beyond their homes.

“These findings suggest another reason to support early detection and intervention of spatial neglect,” A.M. Barrett, MD, director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation and chief of Neurorehabilitation Program Innovation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, stated. “Even when neglect improved, there was an impact on community mobility 6 months later. Treatment may be necessary to achieve better return of mobility later on.”

For more information:

Oh-Park M. PMR. 2014;doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2014.01.002.

Disclosure: This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

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