Prospectively Classifying Community Walkers After Stroke: Who Are They?

Marijn Mulder, Rinske H. Nijland*, Ingrid G. van de Port, Erwin E. van Wegen, Gert Kwakkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To classify patients with stroke into subgroups based on their characteristics at the moment of discharge from inpatient rehabilitation in order to predict community ambulation outcome 6 months later. Design: Prospective cohort study with a baseline measurement at discharge from inpatient care and final outcome determined after 6 months. Setting: Community. Participants: A cohort of patients (N=243) with stroke, referred for outpatient physical therapy, after completing inpatient rehabilitation in The Netherlands. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: A classification model was developed using Classification And Regression Tree (CART) analysis. Final outcome was determined using the community ambulation questionnaire. Potential baseline predictors included patient demographics, stroke characteristics, use of assistive devices, comfortable gait speed, balance, strength, motivation, falls efficacy, anxiety, and depression. Results: The CART model accurately predicted independent community ambulation in 181 of 193 patients with stroke, based on a comfortable gait speed at discharge of 0.5 meters per second or faster. In contrast, 27 of 50 patients with gait speeds below 0.5 meters per second were correctly predicted to become noncommunity walkers. Conclusions: We show that comfortable gait speed is a key factor in the prognosis of community ambulation outcome. The CART model may support clinicians in organizing community services at the moment of discharge from inpatient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2113-2118
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Community integration
  • Gait
  • Independent living
  • Prognosis
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke


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