Disability after a stroke and the influence of long-term pain on everyday life

Scand J Caring Sci. 2002 Sep;16(3):302-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-6712.2002.00090.x.


Pain after a stroke is a symptom often forgotten, unnoticed although it is reported to be a great problem in care. The aim of this study was to describe disability after a stroke and how long-term pain influences everyday life according to the Multidimensional Pain Inventory - Swedish language version (MPI-S) and to test the reliability of this instrument. Forty-three persons were investigated 2 years after the stroke incident: 15 with central post-stroke pain (CPSP), 18 with nociceptive pain mainly in the shoulder and 10 with tension-type headache. Data collection was performed through the MPI-S and a questionnaire regarding assistive devices, also structured interviews based on the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) staircase and the Self-report impairment questionnaire. The results show that the persons suffered moderate to severe pain. Almost half were dependent in ADL. The most often reported impairments and use of assistive devices concerned mobility and/or motion. This was most frequent in persons with nociceptive pain. There were significant differences in persons with central pain and nociceptive pain compared with tension-type headache with regard to mobility- and/or motion-related activities. No statistical differences emerged between age, gender, different types of pain and the MPI-S scales, nor any significant differences in degree of pain as between different types of pain according to the Self-report impairment questionnaire. The reliability analysis of the MPI-S shows good homogeneity in all scales except Interference, Life Control and Affective Distress. This is the first study with MPI-S on mainly older persons and on stroke patients, thus further research is needed on this instrument as well as on which specific activities evoke the pain. This is in order to offer adequate treatment, care and support to persons with pain after a stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain* / classification
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / psychology*
  • Sweden