Activity, participation, and quality of life 6 months poststroke

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Aug;83(8):1035-42. doi: 10.1053/apmr.2002.33984.


Objectives: To estimate the extent of activity and participation of individuals 6 months poststroke and their influence on health-related quality of life (QOL) and overall QOL, information that would be useful in identifying services that stroke patients would need in the community.

Design: Inception cohort study.

Setting: Ten acute care hospitals in metropolitan areas of the province of Quebec.

Participants: Persons with first-ever stroke, either ischemic or hemorrhagic. In parallel, a population-based sample of community-dwelling individuals without stroke, frequency matched in age and city district, were also recruited.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: Stroke subjects were interviewed by telephone at 6-month intervals for 2 years of follow-up. The community-dwelling individuals without stroke were also followed.

Results: A total of 434 persons were interviewed approximately 6 months poststroke. Their average age +/- standard deviation was 68.4+/-12.5 years; the average age of the 486 controls was 61.7+/-12.4 years. The stroke group scored on average 90.6/100 on the Barthel Index; 39% reported a limitation in functional activities, 54% reported limitations with higher-level activities of daily living such as housework and shopping, and 65% reported restrictions in reintegration into community activities. By using the Medical Outcomes 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), persons with stroke rated their physical health 7 points lower than healthy peers; also, 7 of the 8 subscales of the SF-36 were affected by stroke.

Conclusion: Almost 50% of the community-dwelling stroke population lived with sequelae of stroke such that, unless there was a full-time and able-bodied caregiver at home, they needed some form of home help. A large proportion also reported lack of meaningful activity, indicating a need for organized support groups for people with stroke; otherwise, boredom will lead to depression and worsening of function, affect, health status, and QOL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*