Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 637–645 | Cite as

Prediction of functional outcomes in stroke patients: the role of motor patterns according to limb synergies

Original Article


Background and aims

To address the relationships among motor patterns evaluated according to the limb synergies and functional outcomes in stroke patients and clarify which motor pattern was the most important predictor of functional outcomes.


The study was conducted on 208 patients with primary diagnosis of stroke admitted for in-hospital rehabilitation. At entry, the Fugl-Meyer Scale was administered to assess motor function according to limb synergies. Pearson’s correlation was used to assess the relationship between variables, and backward stepwise regression analysis was used to identify the outcome determinants. Final functional independence measure (FIM) scores and length of in-hospital stay were the outcome measures.


At the end of rehabilitation, motor-FIM scores of patients with extensor and flexor synergies, mixing synergies, and no dependence from the synergies were higher than those of no movements and flexor synergy. Multivariate regression analysis showed that extensor synergy of upper limb was an independent predictor of final motor-FIM, personal care and mobility, extensor synergy of lower limb of locomotion, while mixing synergies of upper limb was an independent predictor of length of in-hospital stay.


In stroke rehabilitation, the patients’ motor patterns according to the synergies strongly relate with functional outcomes and are important outcome predictors.


Fugl-meyer Rehabilitation Activities of daily living Functional independence measure 



The authors thank Dr Laura Comini for the critical revision and editing of the manuscript. The research was not supported by Pharmaceutical Companies. The research was supported by institutional funding.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The Ethics Committee of our Institution approved the study protocol and informed consent and all patients gave their written informed consent to participate. The study was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Operative Unit for Recovery and Functional RehabilitationScientific Institute of Lumezzane, “Salvatore Maugeri” Foundation, IRCCSLumezzaneItaly

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