Neurobehavioral disability in stroke patients during subacute inpatient rehabilitation: prevalence and biopsychosocial associations

Renerus J Stolwyk, Elissa O’Connell, David W Lawson, Amanda G Thrift, Peter W New

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: There are scarce data on post-stroke neurobehavioral disability (NBD). The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of NBD in a subacute inpatient stroke population and examine potential associations with demographic, stroke-related, functional and psychosocial variables. Methods: 82 survivors of stroke were consecutively recruited during their inpatient rehabilitation admission. Nursing staff rated NBD in patients using the St Andrews –Swansea Neurobehavioral Outcome Scale (SASNOS). Measures of patient functional independence (FIM), cognition (MoCA), and mood symptoms (HADS) were collected in addition to nursing reports of whether observed NBD negatively impacted on the patient or those around them. Results: NBD relating to interpersonal relationships (44.4% of participants) and cognition (52.4%) were highly prevalent within the sample while NBD relating to inhibition (1.2%), aggression (3.6%), and communication (2.5%) were relatively rare. Presence of NBD was significantly associated with reduced functional independence (rs=0.39, p < 0.01) and associated with trends in cognitive impairment (rs=0.29, p = 0.03), increased anxiety (rs=-0.43, p = 0.02) and depressive symptoms (rs=-0.43, p = 0.02). Presence of NBD was significantly correlated with negative impact to the patient and those around them across all SASNOS domains (rs range 0.42 - 0.45, all p ≤ 0.01). Conclusions: NBD is common within a subacute stroke inpatient population, particularly interpersonal and cognitive difficulties and preliminary analyses indicate associations with reduced functional ability, cognition and mood. There is a need to provide education and support to clinicians to facilitate routine assessment and management of NBD following stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-534
Number of pages8
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Behaviour
  • Neurobehaviour
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

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