Background: Participation is a multidimensional concept, consisting of an objective and a subjective dimension. Many studies have focused on determinants of only 1 dimension of participation post stroke.
Objective: To describe participation (both objective and subjective) and to determine how physical and cognitive independence and subjective complaints (pain, fatigue, and mood) influence participation in community-dwelling stroke survivors in the Netherlands.
Methods: The Utrecht Scale for Evaluation of Rehabilitation (USER) measures physical and cognitive independence and subjective complaints. USER-Participation measures 3 dimensions of participation: frequency (objective perspective), restrictions (subjective perspective), and satisfaction (subjective perspective). Spearman correlations and backward linear regression analyses were used to analyze associations between the 3 USER-Participation scores with demographics, stroke characteristics, physical and cognitive independence, and subjective complaints.
Results: Of the 111 participants, 48.5% returned to work post stroke, but mostly for only 1 to 16 hours a week. Experienced participation restrictions were most prevalent in physical exercise, chores in/around the house, housekeeping, and outdoor activities. On average, participants were relatively satisfied with their participation, but dissatisfaction occurred in cognition, activities outdoors, and work/housekeeping. Regression analysis revealed that objective participation was determined by physical and cognitive independence, age, and education, whereas subjective participation was determined by physical and cognitive independence, fatigue, and mood.
Conclusions: Most participants experienced participation problems, despite relatively good physical recovery. In addition to physical and cognitive factors, subjective complaints of persons with stroke should be addressed in the rehabilitation program.