Timecourse of health-related quality of life as determined 3, 6 and 12 months after stroke. Relationship to neurological deficit, disability and depression

J Neurol. 2002 Sep;249(9):1160-7. doi: 10.1007/s00415-002-0792-3.


Objective: To study the timecourse of health-related global and domain-specific quality of life (QOL) in patients presenting with stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) up to one year after the ischemic event. Variables were identified that may predict poststroke life satisfaction.

Patients and methods: In this prospective study, a cohort of 183 stroke/TIA patients was followed up at 3, 6, and 12 months. A total of 144 survivors completed the follow-up (65 women, 79 men, mean age 65.3 years). Health-related QOL was assessed by the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire, the neurological status by the European Stroke Scale (ESS). Disability was evaluated by using the Barthel index and the modified Swedish Stroke Registry Follow-up Form; depression was scored by the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).

Results: One year after stroke/TIA, 66 % of patients reported a worsening of life satisfaction compared with the prestroke level. The SF-36 physical component summary was reduced throughout the observation period. The SF-36 mental component summary deteriorated between the 6- and 12-months follow-up from 52.2 +/- 7.1 to 50.6 +/- 7.1 (p < 0.05). The SF-36 domains "physical functioning", "social functioning" and the MADRS scores both showed a significant deterioration between 6 and 12 months poststroke (p < 0.05). In contrast, the neurological status and the degree of disability remained stable. Male sex, absence of diabetes, and normal MADRS scores at 3 and 6 months postinsult were identified as predictors of favorable QOL after 1 year (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Despite stable neurologic function and disability, global as well as domain-specific measures of QOL deteriorated over the 12-months observation period in a cohort of stroke survivors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / complications
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / epidemiology*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / psychology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / psychology