Objectives: To describe the quality of life (QOL) of stroke patients and to distill neuropsychologic predictors for poor QOL.
Design: A cohort study in which patients were neuropsychologically assessed at a mean of 72.2 days after stroke, with follow-up at a mean of 9.8 months after stroke.
Setting: Research department of a rehabilitation center.
Patients: A consecutive sample of 164 stroke patients (mean age, 55.2yr) recruited from a university hospital, a regional hospital, and a rehabilitation center.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Orientation, memory, attention and concentration, visuospatial and visuoconstructive functions, language, and arithmetic skills were assessed with neuropsychologic tests. QOL was assessed with the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP).
Results: An overall mean SIP score +/- standard deviation of 20 +/- 11 showed that stroke has a high impact on everyday functioning. Further analyses indicated that QOL is related in particular to tests measuring spatiotemporal and/or sequential aspects of behavior. Forward/backward stepwise regression analysis (n = 106) showed that poor QOL was more likely if patients had a poor result on the Trailmaking Test (TMT) B and/or were women.
Conclusion: The predictive value of the TMT is most effective and very useful because the TMT is a short and economical procedure. However, the gender-related aspects of recovery deserve more attention, as does the possible bias that can be caused by the composition of a measurement. Further research is needed to refine predictive models that are needed to facilitate the development of more adequate, individual rehabilitation programs.
Copyright 2001 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation