Dissertations & Theses (Open Access)

Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)


Terri S. Armstrong, PhD, ANP-BC, FAANP, RN - Chair

Second Advisor

Geri L Wood, PhD, RN, FAAN

Third Advisor

Sean Savitz, MD, FAHA

Fourth Advisor

Joshua Breier, PhD


Background Information processing speed (IPS) is an elemental cognitive function impacting multiple other functions including memory, attention, and executive function, and academic skills like arithmetic, reading and writing. However, little research has been done on IPS impairment in acute stroke. This article compares the frequency and severity of IPS impairment in mild and moderate stroke and its impact on quality of life.

Methods The longitudinal study of patients with mild stroke (NIHSS

Results Using linear mixed model regression, similar frequency and severity of IPS and memory impairments were noted, regardless of stroke severity, in the sample of 30 patients (60% mild stroke). Statistically significant improvement of IPS (p=.005) occurred with percentages of 100% impaired (baseline), 97% (Week 3) and 79% (Week 12). Decreased quality of life associated with IPS impairment was significant in the AC Executive QOL domain (p=0.04) but no difference was noted based on stroke severity.

Conclusion There is evidence of minimal spontaneous IPS and memory recovery regardless of stroke severity at 12 weeks after stroke. IPS was equally impaired in mild and moderate stroke. Frequent and severe IPS impairment is clinically significantly during the acute and rehabilitation phase of stroke recovery, potentially impacting patient independence or ability to participate in his own care. The Neuro-QOL measurement indicated impaired IPS impacts quality of life but only in relation to executive function interference.


Information Processing Speed, Cognitive injury, Stroke, Quality of life

Included in

Nursing Commons



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