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Stroke. 2005 Jul;36(7):1480-4. Epub 2005 Jun 9.

Factors influencing stroke survivors' quality of life during subacute recovery.

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  • 1School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.



Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important index of outcome after stroke and may facilitate a broader description of stroke recovery. This study examined the relationship of individual and clinical characteristics to HRQOL in stroke survivors with mild to moderate stroke during subacute recovery.


Two hundred twenty-nine participants 3 to 9 months poststroke were enrolled in a national multisite clinical trial (Extremity Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation). HRQOL was assessed using the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS), Version 3.0. The Wolf Motor Function Test documented functional recovery of the hemiplegic upper extremity. Multiple analysis of variance and regression models examined the influence of demographic and clinical variables across SIS domains.


Age, gender, education level, stroke type, concordance (paretic arm=dominant hand), upper extremity motor function (Wolf Motor Function Test), and comorbidities were associated across SIS domains. Poorer HRQOL in the physical domain was associated with age, nonwhite race, more comorbidities, and reduced upper-extremity function. Stroke survivors with more comorbidities reported poorer HRQOL in the area of memory and thinking, and those with an ischemic stroke and concordance reported poorer communication.


Although results may not generalize to lower functioning stroke survivors, individual characteristics of persons with mild to moderate stroke may be important to consider in developing comprehensive, targeted interventions designed to maximize recovery and improve HRQOL.

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