Predictors of Poor Quality of Life 1 Year After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

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Risk factors for poor quality of life (QOL) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remain poorly described.


To identify the frequency and predictors of poor QOL 1 year after SAH.


We studied 1-year QOL in a prospectively collected cohort of 1181 consecutively admitted SAH survivors between July 1996 and May 2013. Patient clinical, radiographic, surgical, and acute clinical course information was recorded. Reduced QOL (overall, physical, and psychosocial) at 1 year was assessed with the Sickness Impact Profile and defined as 2 SD below population-based normative Sickness Impact Profile values. Logistic regression leveraging multiple imputation to handle missing data was used to evaluate reduced QOL.


Poor overall QOL was observed in 35% of patients. Multivariable analysis revealed that nonwhite ethnicity, high school education or less, history of depression, poor clinical grade (Hunt-Hess Grade ≥3), and delayed infarction were predictors of poor overall and psychosocial QOL. Poor physical QOL was additionally associated with older age, hydrocephalus, pneumonia, and sepsis. At 1 year, patients with poor QOL had increased difficulty concentrating, cognitive dysfunction, depression, and reduced activities of daily living. More than 91% of patients with poor QOL failed to fully return to work. These patients frequently received physical rehabilitation, but few received cognitive rehabilitation or emotional-behavioral support.


Reduced QOL affects as many as one-third of SAH survivors 1 year after SAH. Delayed infarction is the most important in-hospital modifiable factor that affects QOL. Increased attention to cognitive and emotional difficulties after hospital discharge may help patients achieve greater QOL.


QOL, quality of life


SAH, subarachnoid hemorrhage


SIP, Sickness Impact Profile

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