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Open Access Research article

Life satisfaction two-years after stroke onset: the effects of gender, sex occupational status, memory function and quality of life among stroke patients (Newsqol) and their family caregivers (Whoqol-bref) in Luxembourg

Michèle Baumann1*, Sophie Couffignal2, Etienne Le Bihan3 and Nearkasen Chau4

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Sociology, scientific director of the project, INSIDE Research Unit, University of Luxembourg, L-7201, Walferdange, Luxembourg

2 Epidemiology, Centre for Health Studies, Public Research Centre for Health, L-1445, Strassen, Luxembourg

3 Statistician, INSIDE Research Unit, University of Luxembourg, L-7201, Walferdange, Luxembourg

4 Epidemiology, INSERM, U669, Univ Paris-Sud and Univ Paris Descartes, UMR-S0669, Paris, France

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BMC Neurology 2012, 12:105  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-105

Published: 25 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Life satisfaction (LS) of cerebrovascular disease survivors and their family caregivers may relate to socioeconomic factors, impaired functions, health-related quality of life (QoL), but their respective influences remain unclear. This study assessed, two years post-stroke onset, the effects of these factors on patients’ LS and family caregivers’ LS in Luxembourg.

Methods

All stroke patients admitted to all hospitals in Luxembourg were identified by the ‘Inspection Général de la Sécurité Sociale’ using the only national system database for care expenditure reimbursement. Their diagnosis was confirmed by medical investigator. The sample included ninety four patients living at home having given consent (mean age 65.5 years) and sixty two main caregivers (mean age 59.3 years). Questionnaires were completed during face-to-face interviews. LS was assessed via European single question (range 1–10), survivors’ QoL via Newsqol (11 dimensions), and caregivers’ QoL via Whoqol-bref (4 domains) (range 0–100). Data were analysed using multiple regression models.

Results

Two years after stroke onset, 44.7% of patients suffered from impaired sensory function, 35.1% from impaired motor function, and 31.9% from impaired memory function. Mean patient’ LS was 7.1/10 (SD 1.9). It was higher in women (+12.4) and lower among unemployed socioeconomically active patients (−13.1, vs. retired people). Adjusted for sex, occupation, impaired motor and memory functions, LS positively correlated with scores of Newsqol feelings, sleep, emotion, cognition and pain dimensions (slopes 0.20 to 0.31), but did not correlate with those of caregivers’ Whoqol-bref domains. Family caregiver’ LS was 7.2 (SD 1.7). It was lower in those with patients suffering from impaired memory function (−12.8) as well as from feelings and emotion issues (slopes 0.22). It was associated with all caregivers’ Whoqol-bref domains (physical health, psychological health, environment, and social relationships) (slopes 0.53 to 0.68).

Conclusions

Two-year post-cerebrovascular disease patient’ LS was associated with gender, occupation, and impaired memory function. It correlated with feelings, sleep, emotion, cognition, and pain issues. Family caregivers of patients with impaired memory function had lower LS. Family caregiver’ LS correlated with dimensions of patients’ feelings (less independent, yourself, life changed, depressed, useless, less control because of stroke) and emotion (get more emotional, fear of another stroke or to become dependent on others), and with their own QoL. LS, Newsqol, and Whoqol appeared to be appropriate tools. Our findings may be useful for policy makers in relation to family and medical-social issues of stroke home-based rehabilitation.

Keywords:
Cerebrovascular disease; Life satisfaction; Quality of life; Newsqol; Whoqol-bref; Post-stroke patients; Family caregivers