BACKGROUND: Apart from maximizing functional abilities and independence after stroke, improving overall health-related quality of life (HRQoL) should also become part of the stroke treatment and rehabilitation process goals. This study aimed to assess the HRQoL profiles and explore the dimension-specific associated factors of HRQoL among stroke survivors.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of stroke survivors attending post-stroke care clinics in three public hospitals in the states of Pahang and Terengganu, Malaysia. The HRQoL was assessed by EuroQol-5 dimension-5 levels. Data on socio-demographic, clinical profiles, malnutrition risk, and physical activity level were collected through an interviewer-administered survey. Descriptive analyses for HRQoL profiles and multiple logistic regression analyses for its associated factors were performed. Crude and adjusted odds ratios were reported.
RESULTS: A total of 366 stroke survivors were recruited with a mean age of 59 ± 11 years. The most -commonly reported health problems were mobility (85%), followed by usual activities (82%), pain/discomfort (63%), anxiety/depression (51%) and self-care (41%). The mean of the EQ visual analogue scale and the median of the EQ5D summary index was reported at 60.3 ± 14.2 and 0.67 ± 0.37, respectively. Malnutrition risk (mobility, usual activities, and self-care), wheelchair users (self-care and usual activities), speech impairment (usual activities and pain/discomfort), number of stroke episodes (self-care and pain/discomfort), body mass index, physical activity level and types of strokes (usual activities), age and use of a proxy (anxiety/depression), working and smoking status (mobility), were factors associated with either single or multiple dimensions of HRQoL.
CONCLUSION: Routine malnutrition screening, tailored program for speech therapy, prevention of recurrent stroke, and physical activity promotion should be addressed and further reinforced in current rehabilitation interventions to improve the HRQoL among stroke survivors in Malaysia.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.