Quality-of-Life and Disability in Patients with Stroke


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Abstract

ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to assess the impact of stroke on health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) and disability, the relationships between the two constructs, and to what extent these two constructs are affected when perceived health state changes.DesignThe World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHO-DAS II) and the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) were administered via mail to a sample of adult stroke survivors. Comparison against normative Italian values was made using one-sample t test. SF-36 and WHO-DAS II scores were compared between employed and unemployed patients and between patients self-reporting improved, unchanged, and decreased health state using analysis of variance with least significant difference post hoc test. The relationships between SF-36 and WHO-DAS II were assessed using Pearson correlation.ResultsA total of 111 patients were enrolled. The SF-36 and WHO-DAS II scores of stroke patients were worse in comparison with Italian normative values. Moderate to strong correlations between all scales and the summary score of WHO-DAS II and SF-36 were found: The worse the disability is, the lower the HRQoL. Patients reporting worse health status in the previous year reported higher levels of disability and lower HRQoL. Employed persons had higher HRQoL and lower disability levels.ConclusionsThe generic HRQoL instrument and disability schedule used in this study demonstrated strong relationship between these two dimensions. It also gave a more detailed picture of the aspects of disability and HRQoL that are most relevant for the persons after stroke and that should be studied further in the future research.

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