Racial and ethnic disparities in stroke outcomes: a scoping review of post-stroke disability assessment tools

Suzanne Perea Burns, Brandi M. White, Gayenell Magwood, Charles Ellis, Ayaba Logan, Joy N. Jones Buie, Robert J. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify how post-stroke disability outcomes are assessed in studies that examine racial/ethnic disparities and to map the identified assessment content to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) across the time course of stroke recovery. Methods: We conducted a scoping review of the literature. Articles published between January 2001 and July 2017 were identified through Scopus, PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO according to predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: We identified 1791 articles through database and hand-searching strategies. Of the articles, 194 met inclusion criteria for full-text review, and 41 met inclusion criteria for study inclusion. The included studies used a variety of outcome measures encompassing domains within the ICF: body functions, activities, participation, and contextual factors across the time course of stroke recovery. We discovered disproportionate representation among racial/ethnic groups in the post-stroke disability disparities literature. Conclusions: A wide variety of assessments are used to examine disparities in post-stroke disability across the time course of stroke recovery. Several studies have identified disparities through a variety of assessments; however, substantial problems abound from the assessments used including inconsistent use of assessments, lacking evidence on the validity of assessments among racial/ethnic groups, and inadequate representation among all racial/ethnic populations comprising the US.Implications for Rehabilitation An enhanced understanding of racial/ethnic disparities in post-stroke disability outcomes is inherently important among rehabilitation practitioners who frequently engage with racial/ethnic minority populations across the time course of stroke recovery. Clinicians should carefully consider the psychometric properties of assessment tools to counter potential racial bias. Clinicians should be aware that many assessments used in stroke rehabilitation lack cultural sensitivity and could result in inaccurate assessment findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1835-1845
Number of pages11
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 17 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In accordance with Taylor & Francis policy and our ethical obligations, the authors of this manuscript report that we receive funding from the American Heart Association (AHA) Grant [#15SFDRN25870000, 15SFDRN24480016].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Stroke
  • disability evaluation
  • health status disparity
  • minority health
  • patient outcome assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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