Article ID: Vol18_002
Purpose: Generally, stroke patients can walk and stand up fluidly but fulfill the sit-to-walk (STW) task with difficulty. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between movement fluidity and motor strategy in the initial contact of the STW task. Method: Thirty stroke patients and ten healthy subjects performed the STW task from a sitting position, and their movement was measured by a motion analysis system. The differences in data between patients and healthy subjects were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test. The relationship between fluidity index (FI) and other indices (kinetic and kinematic data in STW, functional independence measure [FIM], and Fugl-Meyer Assessment [FMA]) were analyzed using Spearman̕s rank correlation coefficient. Results: The stroke patients had lower FI values than the healthy subjects and exhibited shortened step length and prolonged duration from onset to the first stance leg off. FI values correlated with trunk flexure angle at initial contact, first step length, and maximum vertical floor reaction force. The independent level of the FIM of stair climbing and walking ability and the FMA of balance also correlated with FI. Conclusion: There is a possibility that poor balance is one of the reasons why stroke patients are unable to start walking fluently from the sitting position. To perform the STW fluidly, patients must start walking before the trunk extension is fully completed. The relationship between FI and indices of physical ability, namely stair climbing and balance, may have therapeutic benefits for coaching the STW task to stroke patients.