Objective: To investigate the return to work status of patients with first-ever stroke with functional independence 6 months post-stroke.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Participants: Nine hundred and thirty-three patients with functional independence at 6 months after stroke onset.
Methods: A complete post-enumeration survey was performed through a review of the medical records for first admission. In addition, structured self-administered questionnaires and a face-to-face interview were performed assessing occupational status, quality of life, and emotional status at 6 months after stroke.
Results: Of the patients in this study, 60.0% returned to work at 6 months after stroke. Sex, age, educational level, and comorbidity level were independent factors related to return to work. The rate of return to work in female patients under 65 years of age was similar to that of male patients 65 years of age or older. Stroke patients who returned to work showed better emotional statuses than those who did not return to work.
Conclusion: Many stroke patients did not return to work despite functional independence at 6 months after stroke. Based on the results of this study, we suggest providing appropriate vocational rehabilitation for stroke patients and proper education for employers to increase the rate of early return to work in stroke patients.