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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Discriminatory Sensory Function in Upper Limbs in Stroke Survivors

1 Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Physiotherapy, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C A Gbiri
Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Dysfunction of discriminative sensation is seldom included in routine assessment of stroke survivors. It is also often assumed that the non-hemiparetic side of stroke survivor has no deficit. Aim: To investigate sensory discriminatory parameters in the upper limbs of stroke survivors and the influence of selected socio-demographic and clinical variables on them. Methods: Participants were selected using purposive sampling technique. Sensory discrimination test parameters that included kinesthesia, topognosis, two-point discrimination and stereognosis were assessed using standard methods. Spearman's correlation co-efficient was used to find the relationship between side of affectation and the sensory parameters and McNemar's test to compare the hemiparetic and non-hemiparetic upper limbs. The level of significant was set at 0.05. Results: Seventy (42 males and 28 females) stroke survivors participated in this study. They were aged 57.8±11.0 years with post-stroke duration of 18.3±19.3 months. Forty-one (58.6%) had right side affectation. Sensory discrimination impairments occurred in 49 (70%) either unilaterally or bilaterally. Thirty-seven (53.1%) had sensory impairment on the non-hemiparetic side. The side of affectation showed significant correlation (p<0.05) with two-point discrimination and stereognosis. There was no significant difference between the hemiparetic and non-hemiparetic upper limbs of the participants for each of the sensory discrimination parameters. Conclusion: The non-hemiparetic side of a stroke survivor exhibits sensory discriminatory impairments in kinesthesia, topognosis, two-point discrimination and stereognosis as the hemiparetic side. Hence, it is highly imperative that sensory discriminatory test should be included in the routine assessment of stroke survivors and their non-hemiparetic side should be given adequate attention during rehabilitation.

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