Correlation between trunk control, respiratory muscle strength and spirometry in patients with stroke: an observational study

Sílvia Raquel Jandt, Raphael Maciel da Sil Caballero, Luiz Alberto Forgiarini Junior, Alexandre Simões Dias
Physiotherapy Research International: the Journal for Researchers and Clinicians in Physical Therapy 2011, 16 (4): 218-24

INTRODUCTION:  Stroke is the main cause of chronic disability in adults, and the effect of a stroke on the respiratory system depends on the structures affected by the lesion. 

OBJECTIVES:  To evaluate the correlation between trunk control, respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary function in individuals who suffered stroke. 

METHODS:  Observational, quantitative and descriptive study. Twenty-three patients who had a clinical diagnosis of ischaemic or haemorrhagic stroke. The trunk control was assessed through the Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS), and the respiratory muscle strength was assessed by manovacuometry by measuring the maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP). For pulmonary function analysis, we measured forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV₁), peak expiratory flow (PEF) and the Tiffeneau index (TIFF) through spirometry. 

RESULTS:  A consistent and statistically significant correlation was found between TIS and PEF (r = 0.489, p = 0.024) and between TIS and EPmax (r = 0.517, p = 0.016). No relation was found between the other variables of pulmonary function and TIS. 

CONCLUSION:  This study demonstrated that there is a relation between trunk control and respiratory muscular strength, especially concerning the expiratory muscles. However, there seems to be no relation between trunk control and pulmonary function in this series of individuals who suffered stroke.

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