Prevalence and predictors of pain and fatigue after stroke: a population-based study

Int J Rehabil Res. 2006 Dec;29(4):329-33. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e328010c7b8.


Pain and fatigue are two often overlooked symptoms after stroke. Their prevalence and determinants are not well understood. In this study patients with first-ever stroke (n=377) were examined at baseline and after 1 year. General characteristics of the patients, as well as stroke type, stroke severity and risk factors were registered at baseline. After 1 year survivors (n=253) were examined with respect to residual impairment, disability, cognition and depression. They were asked whether they had experienced pain and/or fatigue which had started after the stroke, and which the patient felt to be stroke related. Twenty-eight patients (11%) had stroke-associated pain and 135 (53%) had stroke-associated fatigue. Pain was associated with depression and different manifestations of stroke severity, especially degree of paresis at baseline. Fatigue was more associated with physical disability. In univariate analysis, fatigue was also associated with sleep disturbances. In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the occurrence of pain and fatigue after stroke, because these symptoms are common, they impair quality of life and they are potentially treatable. Post-stroke depression may coexist with pain and fatigue. The detection of one symptom should lead to consideration of the others. Follow-up and individual assessment of stroke patients is crucial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / psychology