Little is known about health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the long term after stroke.Aim
The aim of this study was to assess the level of, and factors associated with, HRQoL at 7 years post-stroke.Methods
All stroke cases from a prospective community-based stroke incidence study (excluding subarachnoid haemorrhage) were assessed 7 years after stroke. HRQoL was measured with the Assessment of Quality of Life instrument. Proportional odds ordinal logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with HRQoL at 7 years post-stroke.Results
Overall, 1321 stroke cases were recruited. Seven years after stroke, 413 (31.2%) were alive and 328 (79.4%) were assessed. Those assessed were less often current smokers pre-stroke than those not assessed (p<0.01). Seventy-six survivors (23%) had very poor HRQoL (range: −0.038 to 0.100). Factors present at 7 years that were associated with better 7-year HRQoL were independence in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) (estimated OR=11.2, 95% CI 4.87 to 25.6, p<0.001), independence in basic activities of daily living (BADL) (OR=4.53, 95% CI 2.03 to 10.1, p<0.001), independence in IADL and BADL (OR=9.90, 95% CI 4.51 to 21.7, p<0.001), male gender (OR=1.89, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.96, p=0.005) and lesser handicap (trend: OR=3.47, 95% CI 2.51 to 4.79, p<0.001). Participants' HRQoL scores tended to be lower when HRQoL assessments were completed by proxy (OR=0.13, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.31, p<0.001).Conclusion
At 7 years post-stroke, 68.8% had died and a substantial proportion of survivors had poor HRQoL. Factors such as handicap, BADL and IADL could be targeted to improve HRQoL in long-term survivors of stroke.