Predicting Recovery of Independent Walking after Stroke: A Systematic Review

Natasja Charon Wouda*, Brenda Knijff, Michiel Punt, Johanna Maria Augusta Visser-Meily, Martijn Frits Pisters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Patients recovering from a stroke experience reduced participation, especially when they are limited in daily activities involving walking. Understanding the recovery of independent walking, can be used by clinicians in the decision-making process during rehabilitation, resulting in more personalized stroke rehabilitation. Therefore, it is necessary to gain insight in predicting the recovery of independent walking in patients after stroke. This systematic review provided an overview of current evidence about prognostic models and its performance to predict recovery of independent walking after stroke. Therefore, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Embase were searched for all relevant studies in English and Dutch. Descriptive statistics, study methods, and model performance were extracted and divided into two categories: subacute phase and chronic phase. This resulted in 16 articles that fulfilled all the search criteria, which included 30 prognostic models. Six prognostic models showed an excellent performance (area under the curve value and/or overall accuracy ≥0.90). The model of Smith et al. (2017) showed highest overall accuracy (100%) in predicting independent walking in the subacute phase after stroke (Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2017;31(10-11):955-64.). Recovery of independent walking can be predicted in the subacute and chronic phase after stroke. However, proper external validation and the applicability in clinical practice of identified prognostic models are still lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-464
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Issue number 5
Early online date9 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


  • Ambulation
  • Independency
  • Prognosis
  • Stroke


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