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J Neurol Sci. 2012 Feb 15;313(1-2):160-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2011.08.038. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Poor concurrence between disabilities as described by patients and established assessment tools three months after stroke: a mixed methods approach.

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Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Occupational Therapy, Fack 23 200, 141 83 Huddinge, Sweden.



Disability/problems, one phenomenon underlying people's need for health care services, can be viewed both from the perspectives of people with stroke (felt problems), and the health professionals (assessed problems).


The aim was to describe felt problems three months after stroke and to explore the concurrence between felt problems and assessed problems.


The patients (n=203) received care in the stroke units at Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden. Felt problems, drawn from an open question, were categorized. Results from established assessment tools: Katz Extended Index of ADL (KI); Barthel Index (BI) and Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) represented assessed problems. Items/domains in the assessment tools that corresponded to the categories of felt problems were identified and comparisons performed.


The category Fatigue had the largest number of felt problems (n=58, 28%). Fourteen out of the 24 categories of felt problems had corresponding items/domains in the assessment tools. KE/BI failed to identify 16-57% and SIS 0-33% of the felt problems.


There was a substantial lack of concurrence between felt and assessed problems. The results indicate that the use of standardized instruments should be complemented by a dialog if health services are to be based on problems experienced by the patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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