Balance analysis during the sit-to-stand movement of chronic hemiparetic individuals based upon their functional levels
Introduction: Balance deficits are frequently observed in individuals with hemiparesis and lead to disabilities in daily activities, such as the ability to walk. The sit-to-stand movement is essential for independent gait and balance is one of the main requirements for its performance. Objective: To analyse the balance parameters during the sit-to-stand movement in individuals with chronic hemiparesis, stratified according to the level of functional performance. Method: Individuals above 20 years of age with a time since the onset of the stroke of at least six months were divided into three functional groups, according to their walking speeds: Household ambulation (<0.4 m/s), limited community ambulation (0.4 to 0.8 m/s), and complete community ambulation (>0.8 m/s). The following balance parameters were assessed by the sit-to-stand test of the Balance Master System: (1) weight transfer time, (2) rising index and (3) the centre of gravity sway velocity. It was considered a significance level of α<0.05. Results: Eight-six individuals (56±13 years) participated. Statistically significant differences regarding weight transfer time were observed only between the household group and the others (limited community ambulation and complete community ambulation (F=4.42;p=0.01). Similarly, regarding the rising index, significant differences were observed only for the household ambulation group (F=8.46; p<0.01). Conclusion: Individuals with chronic hemiparesis, who had lower functional performance levels (household ambulation) spent more time to perform the sit-to-stand movement with less weight transfer to the lower limbs. These findings suggest that within clinical contexts when balance training is carried out to improve mobility and gait performance in individuals with household ambulation, parameters related to the transfer time and rising index should be emphasized.