AIMS: This study examines different correlates to health-related quality (HRQoL) of life after discharge in patients with stroke.
BACKGROUND: HRQoL is an important aspect of life after suffering a stroke. Previous research has revealed several variables associated with poststroke quality of life, including age, gender, depression, fatigue, length of hospital stay, functional status and amount of social participation. However, the time span after stroke varies greatly in the different studies. Although the multiple factors that contribute to short-term postdischarge HRQoL have potential importance for discharge planning, to our knowledge, these factors have not been systematically investigated during the earlier days following discharge.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
METHODS: The sample consisted of 188 consecutively included individuals (mean age 74 years, 56% men) from a stroke unit in southern Sweden. The interviews were performed two to three weeks after discharge and included use of the SF-36, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, the Barthel Index, the Frenchay Activities Index, performance of interests and survey of patients' perceived participation in discharge planning. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to identify variables associated with HRQoL.
RESULTS: Multiple regression analyses with the eight scales of SF-36 as dependent variables revealed eight models, one for each scale, which were statistically significant. Depressive symptoms were associated with lower HRQoL. Ability to perform personal and social activities, interests, younger age, education (elementary school) and shorter hospital stay were related to higher HRQoL. Patients' perceived participation in discharge planning was both positively and negatively associated with HRQoL.
CONCLUSIONS: Several variables were related to good HRQoL two to three weeks post-discharge, particularly fewer depressive symptoms, participation in social activities such as outdoor activities and performance of interests.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: These results can be used to design needs assessment forms of discharge planning to promote adaptation and recovery after stroke.