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Factors that Affect the Quality of Life at 3 Years Post-Stroke

Journal of Clinical Neurology
Korean Neurological Association (KAMJE)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3988/jcn.2006.2.1.34
  • Original Article
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Psychology


Background and Purpose Elucidating the factors that predict the quality of life (QOL) in stroke patients is important. However, the residual sensory symptoms that are common in stroke patients have not usually been included as factors that influence the QOL. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the factors that predict the QOL of chronic-stage patients with special attention to residual sensory symptoms. Methods We examined 214 patients who had experienced a first-time stroke during the subacute (i.e., approximately 3 months poststroke) stage; 151 patients from this group were followed up by telephone interview during the chronic (i.e., approximately 3 years poststroke) stage. Physical disabilities, including motor dysfunction, sensory symptoms that included central poststroke pain (CPSP, described using a standardized questionnaire with a visual analogue scale), activities of daily living (ADL, measured by the Barthel index score), as well as the presence of depression (using the DSM IV criteria), were assessed during both the subacute and chronic stages. Economic and job statuses during the chronic stage were also assessed. QOL ratings were determined by the World Health Organization QOL scale. Results The following factors at 3 months poststroke were related to low QOL at 3 years poststroke: dependency in ADL, motor dysfunction, depression, and CPSP. At 3 years poststroke, dependency in ADL, depression, CPSP, poor economic status, and unemployment were all factors that were related to low QOL. Multiple regression analysis showed that dependency in ADL (19%), presence of CPSP (12%), and poor economic status (10%) were important explanatory factors for overall QOL. In the analysis of QOL subdomains, the most important explanatory factors were CPSP for both physical and psychological domains, dependency in ADL for both independence and social-relationships domains, economic status for the environmental domain, and female sex for the spiritual domain. Conclusions We conclude that dependency in ADL, depression, low socioeconomic status, and the presence of CPSP either at 3 months or 3 years poststroke are factors that are related to a low QOL at 3 years poststroke. The recognition of these factors may allow strategies to be developed to improve the QOL for stroke patients.

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