Study shows racial disparities in post-stroke functional independence

Researchers found racial disparities in reported functional independence for patients after a stroke, according to recently published results.

Charles Ellis, PhD, from the Department of Communication Science and Disorders at East Carolina University, and colleagues from the Medical University of South Carolina, surveyed a group of 162 stroke survivors at 1 year after stroke. Overall, 106 patients were white and 56 patients were black. The survey’s 20 questions measured activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) performance, life participation and driving.

The survey showed no significant differences between the two groups for rehabilitation utilization. However, in multivariate comparisons controlling for stroke severity, black patients “were less likely to report independence in overall functional performance and domain specific measures of toileting, walking, transportation, laundry and shopping,” according to the study. Black patients also reported less independence in driving.

According to the study conclusions, “future studies are needed to further understand the reason for this disparity in reported functional independence.”

For more information:

Ellis C. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 2014; doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.08.018.

Disclosure: See the full study for the authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

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