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This study aims to examine the evolution and determinants of physical fitness after stroke.
Stroke is a major cause of chronic severe disability. More than 50% of stroke survivors have residual motor and functional deficits which have an impact on their participation and quality of live (Patel et al, 2006). Limitations on daily functioning may lead to physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle. Sustained physical inactivity (deconditioning) induces a reduction in aerobic capacity, which may further increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases in these individuals above that associated with stroke itself. Therefore, improving aerobic capacity may be essential in prevention of secondary diseases due to lack of fitness in the stroke population. Previous studies have also indicated that a critical level of aerobic capacity must be met in order to function independently (Cress et al, 2003). Therefore, in addition to disease prevention, enhancing aerobic capacity in individuals with stroke may also have beneficial effects on promoting functional abilities and independent living. It is also known that a limitation in functional performance is mostly associated with a restriction in social activities (ICIDH-2-model). Clearly, stroke survivors can benefit from counseling on participation in physical activity and exercise training. A recent meta-analysis (Pang et al, 2006) showed that there is good evidence to support the use of aerobic exercise to improve aerobic capacity in individuals with stroke. However, before going on that road, one needs to know more about the level of physical activity and physical fitness in the stroke population.
Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective
University Hospital Leuven, Rehabilitation Centre Pellenberg
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:27-0400
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