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Article

Abstract

Background and Purpose. Kinematic motion analysis has helped to characterize poststroke reaching strategies with the hemiparetic arm. However, the relationships between reaching strategy and performance on common functional outcome measures remain unclear. Methods. Thirty-five participants were tested for motor performance and motor impairment using the Wolf Motor Function Test (time and functional ability measure) and Fugl-Meyer assessment, respectively. Kinematic motion analysis of a forward reaching paradigm provided potential predictors of reaching strategy including shoulder flexion, elbow extension, and trunk displacement. A stepwise linear regression model with three potential predictors was used in addition to Pearson-product moment correlations. Results. Kinematic analysis of elbow extension predicted performance on both the Wolf Motor Function Test and Fugl-Meyer assessment. Shoulder flexion and trunk displacement did not significantly predict functional or reaching time outcomes. The Wolf Motor Function Test and the Fugl-Meyer assessment were highly correlated. Conclusions. The ability to incorporate elbow extension during reach is a significant predictor of motor performance and hemiparetic arm motor capacity after stroke.

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