Affiliations: Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
Note:  Corresponding author: Adebimpe Obembe, Department of Medical Rehabilitation, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Tel.: +234 8033610965; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Post-stroke fatigue is common in chronic stroke survivors. Improving gait and balance performance are important in stroke rehabilitation. For optimal rehabilitation, it is important to know how these are associated with post-stroke fatigue. This study explored the relationship of functional limitations due to post stroke fatigue with gait and balance performance in stroke survivors undergoing physiotherapy. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study involving 70 stroke survivors (41 males, 29 females) with ages ranging from 42 to 76 years (mean 53.7 ± 11 years). Fatigue was assessed with Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS); gait speed and cadence were assessed with observational gait analysis; balance performance was assessed with Berg Balance Scale (BBS); and fall efficacy was assessed with Fall Efficacy Scale (FES). RESULTS: The mean MFIS score, gait speed, cadence, BBS score and FES score were 37.94 ± 11.78, 0.32 ± 0.23 m/s, 58.32 ± 28.35 steps/minute, 45.64 ± 6.62, 36.42 ± 26.21 respectively. Twenty six (37.1%) participants often experienced functional limitations due to fatigue. MFIS scores had no relationship (p > 0.05) with gait (gait speed and cadence) and balance (balance performance and fall efficacy). CONCLUSION: This study concluded that fatigue, which occurs frequently, is not related to gait and balance performance. Fatigue should be assessed in all stroke survivors during rehabilitation without considering their physical function, such as walking ability and balance.