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Vol. 23. Issue 4.
Pages 311-316 (01 July 2019)
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Vol. 23. Issue 4.
Pages 311-316 (01 July 2019)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.09.006
Prevalence of dyspnea after stroke: a telephone-based survey
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Kênia K.P. Menezesa,
Corresponding author
keniakiefer@yahoo.com.br

Corresponding author at: Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Avenida Antônio Carlos, 6627 – Campus Pampulha, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
, Lucas R. Nascimentoa,b, Maria Tereza M. Alvarengaa, Patrick R. Avelinoa, Luci F. Teixeira-Salmelaa
a NeuroGroup, Discipline of Physiotherapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
b Center of Health Sciences, Discipline of Physiotherapy, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Vitória, ES, Brazil
Highlights

  • The prevalence of dyspnea after a stroke was 44%.

  • Dyspnea is associated with activity limitations and restrictions in community participation after a stroke.

  • Stroke survivors, who had dyspnea, were six times more likely to report activity limitations and two times more likely to report restrictions in social participation.

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Tables (2)
Table 1. Script of the telephone-based interview.
Table 2. Characteristics of the participants.
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Abstract
Objective

Dyspnea is a relevant outcome to be taken into consideration during stroke rehabilitation. Prevalence, severity, and effects of this condition on individuals with stroke remain uncertain. This study investigated the prevalence and severity of dyspnea after a stroke, as well the associations between dyspnea, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.

Methods

A telephone-based survey was conducted with 285 individuals with stroke. The survey included information regarding the onset and severity of the dyspnea, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Prevalence of dyspnea was reported as percentage of individuals who had the symptom. Chi-square tests were used to investigate the associations between dyspnea, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Relative risks and respective 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

Results

Out of the 285 participants, 124 (44%) reported having dyspnea after stroke. Severe symptoms were reported by 51% of the participants with dyspnea. In addition, dyspnea limited activity and restricted social participation in 85% and 49% of the participants, respectively. Dyspnea was significantly correlated with activity limitations (r=0.87; 95% CI 0.82–0.92; p<0.01) and participation restrictions (r=0.53; 95% CI 0.46–0.62; p<0.01). The analyses indicated that individuals with dyspnea were more likely to report that it limited their activities (RR: 6.5; 95% CI 4.3–9.9) and restricted social participation (RR: 1.7; 95% CI 1.5–2.0).

Conclusions

Dyspnea is an important symptom after stroke and showed to be associated with activity limitations and restrictions in community participation. Earlier detection of dyspnea in people with stroke, followed by appropriate management, is strongly recommended and has the potential to improve activity and social participation.

Keywords:
Cerebrovascular accident
Activities of daily living
Social participation
Rehabilitation
Cross-sectional studies

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