A comprehensive view of physical function, body composition and exercise post-stroke that is based on clinical examination is lacking. The effects of a progressive resistance and balance (PRB) exercise program have not been fully evaluated in community-living individuals after stroke.
The overall aim of this thesis was to explore and describe physical function, physical activity, body composition, nutritional status and psychological factors. Another aim was to evaluate both the short-term and long-term effects of a PRB exercise program.
Physical function, physical activity, body composition, nutritional status and psychological factors were assessed in community-living individuals (65-85 years) approximately 1 year after stroke. Paper I-II (n=195, n=134) had a cross-sectional design and the main outcome was mobility and physical activity. In paper III-IV, (n=67, n=43) individuals were randomly assigned to either a PRB exercise program group or a control group. The main outcomes were balance, mobility, fat-free mass (FFM) and fat-mass (FM).
In paper I, mobility was reduced and physical activity level was low compared to age-matched healthy controls. Factors explaining the variance in mobility were age, physical activity, fall-related self-efficacy and EQ-5D. In paper II, >20% had a BMI ≥30 kg/m2 and had an altered body composition that was mainly characterised by a high fat-mass index (FMI). Neither fat-free nor FM were associated with mobility in this cohort. The factors associated with low mobility were low physical activity Odds ratio (OR) (CI 95%) 8.2 (2.8-24.2), risk for malnutrition, OR 5.8 (1.6-21.1), and each 10-year period, OR 2.8 (1.24-6.24). Individuals participating in the PRB exercise program (paper III, n=67) revealed significantly higher balance, walking capacity and comfortable walking speed compared to the control group at 3 months. The faster walking speed persisted at 6 and 15 months. In paper IV (n=43), at 3 months, the PRB exercise group had a significant reduction in FM percentage and a decrease in IGF-1 compared with the control group. Further, changes in FMI were associated with improved walking capacity.
Many individuals perceived partly modifiable disabilities 1 year after stroke. Exercising in groups for 3 months improved physical function and decreased fat-mass percentage and IGF-1.
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. , 81 p.
2015-01-23, Gunne-salen, Ingång 10, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)