Fatigue after stroke: frequency and effect on daily life

Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(8):633-7. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.613517. Epub 2011 Oct 7.


Purpose: An audit was conducted to assess the frequency of fatigue after stroke, to determine the impact on daily life, and whether it was discussed with clinicians.

Method: Patients were recruited from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust stroke service. Patients were interviewed about their fatigue, and the Fatigue Severity Subscale (FSS-FAI), Brief Assessment Schedule for Depression Cards (BASDEC), Barthel Index and Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living (EADL) Scale were administered.

Results: 64 patients were recruited, with a mean age 73.5 years (SD 14.0, range 37-94 years), 37 (58%) as in-patients and 27 (42%) as outpatients. There were 41 (64%) who reported significant levels of fatigue and 31 (48%) with significant fatigue on the Fatigue Severity Scale. Demographic and clinical variables were not significantly related to fatigue (p > 0.05), apart from gender, with women reporting significantly more fatigue than men (p = 0.006). There was a moderate correlation between the BASDEC and FSS (r(s) = 0.41, p = 0.002). Of the 41 participants who reported fatigue, 33 (81%) had not discussed this with their clinician.

Conclusions: Fatigue was a common problem after stroke. There was a lack of awareness in both patients and clinicians and little advice being given to patients with fatigue.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Medical Audit
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation