Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of fatigue on the level of participation in a physiotherapy program of elderly acute stroke patients.
Methods: The study included a total of 50 acute stroke patients aged ≥ 65 years (32 females and 18 males with a mean age of 75.14 ± 6.25 years). The level of functional independence of the patients was evaluated before the treatment program and on the day of discharge using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and the difference between the two FIM values was calculated to provide the delta-FIM value. Following each treatment session, the level of participation in the physiotherapy program was evaluated with the Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale and the level of fatigue with the Barrow Neurological Institute Fatigue Scale, and mean points were calculated for these scales.
Results: The mean points of the Barrow Neurological Institute Fatigue Scale were 28.58 ± 16.57 and the mean points of Item 11 of the same scale were 5.57 ± 2.75. The mean delta-FIM value was determined as 12.7 ± 17.98 and the mean Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale points were 4.46 ± 1.00. A statistically significant negative correlation was determined between the Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale and the Barrow Neurological Institute Fatigue Scale (r: -0.338, p<0.05). No statistically significant relationship was determined between the Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale and the Functional Independence Measure (p>0.05).
Conclusions: The results of the study determined that elderly acute stroke patients with a high level of fatigue had low levels of participation in the physiotherapy program.