Objective: To evaluate the relationship between disability and both health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and caregiver burden in patients with upper limb poststroke spasticity.
Design: Multicenter open-label study.
Setting: Thirty-five sites in North America.
Participants: Patients (N = 279) with upper limb poststroke spasticity.
Methods: Post hoc analyses of data from an open-label study were performed to estimate HRQoL and caregiver burden at study baseline across levels of disability in 4 problem domains: hygiene, dressing, limb posture, and pain. Disability severity in these areas was determined by using the 4-point Disability Assessment Scale rated by the physicians.
Main outcome measurements: HRQoL measured by the patient-reported EuroQol 5 Dimensions questionnaire and the Stroke-Adapted Sickness Impact Profile and caregiver burden.
Results: At study baseline, increasing disability in the hygiene, dressing, and pain domains of the Disability Assessment Scale was associated with diminishing HRQoL scores (P < .002) measured by the EuroQol 5 Dimensions. By using the Stroke-Adapted Sickness Impact Profile, greater disability scores in all problem domains were significantly associated with higher overall dysfunction scores (P ≤ .05). Within the physical dimension of the Stroke-Adapted Sickness Impact Profile, significant associations also were observed in all domains. At baseline, caregiver burden was significantly related to increasing levels of hygiene and dressing domain severity (P ≤ .05). Caregiver assistance requirement increased from approximately 9.0-28.2 hours per week in the hygiene domain and 3.3-32.1 hours per week in the dressing domain as disability increased from "none" to "severe."
Conclusions: In patients with upper limb poststroke spasticity, increasing disability in the hygiene, dressing, and pain domains of the Disability Assessment Scale were associated with diminishing HRQoL. Furthermore, these patients required caregiver assistance proportionally related to the severity of their disability in the hygiene and dressing domains.
Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.