Background: Most stroke-related studies have consisted of people over the age of 65. This study examined the unmet needs of young people with stroke, living in community housing in the UK.
Method: People with a stroke (>1 year ago), in two age bands (18-45; 46-65) were sent the Southampton Needs Assessment Questionnaire for people with Stroke.
Results: 315 out of 639 (49%) questionnaires were returned (mean age 55, SD 9; 189 males, 126 females). The median number of unmet needs reported was two (IQR 0-6). The most frequently reported unmet needs were: provision of information about the responders' stroke (45%); assistance with finances (24%); non-care activities (19%); and intellectual fulfillment (17%). Responders in the younger age group reported significantly more unmet needs than responders in the older age group (for a holiday, intellectual fulfillment and family support). Responders with poor mobility reported significantly more unmet needs than responders with average and good mobility for 15 unmet needs (three most pressing: respite care/short breaks; adaptations; and access to community environment). Responders who did not return to work reported significantly more unmet needs than responders who had reduced hours or changed jobs and people who returned to the same job with the same hours for seven unmet needs (three most pressing: help with finances; a holiday and speech therapy).
Conclusion: People of younger age, with poorer mobility and those unable to return to work, report most unmet needs. Further work needs to be done within the community, with employers and professionals, in relation to education and the provision of specifically targeted information in order to facilitate participation and autonomy for people with stroke.