Self-Assessed Physical, Cognitive, and Emotional Impact of Stroke at 1 Month: The Importance of Stroke Severity and Participation

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2017 Jan;26(1):57-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2016.08.029. Epub 2016 Sep 9.


Objectives: The aims of this study were to describe the self-assessed physical, emotional, and cognitive impact of stroke and to investigate associations with participation and stroke severity in early stage (1 month) poststroke.

Methods: Participants (n = 104, mean age = 68) with reduced upper extremity function assessed at day 3 were included from a Swedish stroke unit. Participants were evaluated with The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale at arrival, median 7.9 (0-24). The cohort was assessed for their perceived impact of stroke with the Stroke Impact Scale at 1 month poststroke.

Results: The perceptions of emotional health, communication skills, and ability to remember were perceived as quite good, with a mean score of 83-86. However, nearly 60% reported limitations in participation. This group also evaluated their physical function to be significantly lower compared to participants who did not report limitations in participation.

Conclusions: One month poststroke, a lower score on self-assessed physical function was associated with both a perceived restriction in participation and a more severe stroke. The association of physical function and perceived participation at 1 month poststroke needs to be taken into account when planning the early rehabilitation.

Keywords: Stroke; physical function; rehabilitation; social participation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / etiology*
  • Perception / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Participation*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / psychology*
  • Visual Analog Scale