Rehabilitation of left brain-damaged ischemic stroke patients: The role of comprehension language deficits - A matched comparison

Stefano Paolucci, Alessandro Matano, Maura Bragoni, Paola Coiro, Domenico De Angelis, Francesca Romana Fusco, Daniela Morelli, Luca Pratesi, Vincenzo Venturiero, Ivana Bureca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Aphasia is considered a risk factor for disability after stroke. The aim of this study was to assess the specific influence of aphasia on rehabilitation results. Method: A case-control study in consecutive left brain-damaged stroke inpatients, enrolled in three homogeneous subgroups [nonaphasic (NA) patients, aphasic with comprehension deficit (CD), and without comprehension deficit (NCD)] matched forage and onset-admission interval. Rehabilitation results (gain, efficiency, effectiveness of treatment, percentage and odds ratio of dropouts and of each degree of therapeutic response, assessed by Barthel Index and Rivermead Mobility Index) were compared among the subgroups. Results: Two hundred and forty patients with sequelae of a first stroke were enrolled. CD patients, as compared with NCD and NA ones, had a significantly more severe basal neurological and functional status at admission, minor effectiveness on ADL and mobility, a higher percentage of low responders on ADL and urinary incontinence at discharge, and a risk of low therapeutic response on ADL nearly 4 times higher than the other patients (OR = 4.22, 95% CI = 1.90-9.38). The rehabilitative behavior between NCD and NA was similar. However, all subgroups (NA, CD and NCD) showed a significant improvement (p <0.001) between their basal and discharge score, both on BI and RMI. Conclusions: Comprehension language deficit was confirmed to be a strong negative rehabilitation prognostic factor despite the speech therapy done by all CD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
JournalCerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Aphasia
  • Functional recovery
  • Prognostic factors
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech therapy
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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