Correlates of physical function among stroke survivors: an examination of the 2015 BRFSS

D. Ilunga Tshiswaka, S. R. Seals, Preeti Raghavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives To identify the characteristics of stroke survivors with poor physical function. Study design Cross-sectional. Methods Secondary data analyses were performed with the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data set. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regressions were employed to determine the correlates of poor physical function in stroke survivors. Self-reported difficulty with walking and stairs was used as a proxy for physical function. Characteristics such as age, race, sex, difficulty doing errands alone, difficult dressing or bathing alone, health care coverage, time since last routine checkup, and reported financial difficulty with regard to health care access were examined as contributing factors to physical function. Results Approximately half of all stroke survivors reported having difficulty with walking and stairs (50.3%). As expected, the odds of reporting difficulty with walking and stairs were higher among stroke survivors aged 40 years and above (p < 0.0001). Interestingly, black/African American and multiracial respondents had higher odds of reporting difficulty with walking and stairs than whites, whereas Hispanic respondents had lower odds of reporting difficulty with walking and stairs than whites (p < 0.0001). Further analyses revealed that the disparity of physical function was preserved (p < 0.0001) after adjusting for age, race, sex, education level, family income, marital status, employment status, health insurance status, affordability of healthcare, and length of time from last doctor's visit. Conclusions There were racial/ethnic disparities in physical function. Specifically, blacks/ African Americans had a 5.6% increase in the odds of reporting difficulty with walking and stairs than whites. Moreover, Hispanics reported significantly fewer problems than whites. Overall, similar sociocultural patterns in non-stroke and stroke populations were observed in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health
Volume155
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Physical function
  • Stroke patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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