Date of Award


Document type


Degree Name

Masters theses/dissertations - taught courses

First Supervisor

Dr Frances Horgan

Second Supervisor

Dr Rose Galvin


Stroke, Physical Activity, Self Report



Every patient admitted at the Acute Stroke Unit (ASU) in University Hospital Limerick was considered for recruitment to this descriptive cohort study. Participants wore an accelerometer for the first seven days post discharge home from the ASU. The data from this was compared to self-reported physical activity (PA) levels as measured by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient. Secondary measures of age, cognition, balance, self-efficacy, function, anxiety and depression were examined using a mixed linear regression model to determine whether they influenced levels of physical activity following a stroke.


A total of 21 participants were recruited during the study period from 1/10/15 to 29/2/16. Analysis demonstrated that no participant reached the recommended 10,000 steps per day. The median number of steps taken per day as measured by the accelerometer was 4023 with an interquartile range (IQR) of 2724 steps (minimum 1745 – maximum 9824 steps/day). The median MET’s per day as measured by the accelerometer was 30.53 (IQR 1.45, minimum 26.83 – maximum 102.55).


Following discharge home from the ASU patients do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity. There is a poor correlation between self- reported and objective levels of physical activity in this cohort. This study did not establish a relationship between any of the secondary measures and physical activity.

Implications of findings:

Stroke survivors are largely inactive in the acute period following discharge home from the ASU. Improved identification of barriers to PA and effective interventions are required to improve outcomes for patients post stroke to reduce the risk of stroke recurrence and optimise their outcome.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

File Size

2.70 MB


A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc in Neurology and Gerontology to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2016.