Open Access Research article

Young individuals with stroke: a cross sectional study of long-term disability associated with self-rated global health

Susanne Palmcrantz1*, Lotta Widén Holmqvist12 and Disa K Sommerfeld134

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden

2 Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

3 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Danderyd Hospital, Danderyd, Sweden

4 Department of Physical Therapy, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Neurology 2014, 14:20  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-14-20

Published: 28 January 2014



Perceived disability after stroke may persist long-term even among young individuals with mild stroke and may be related to age-related expectations of health and recovery. Thus, in order to appreciate the magnitude of perceived disability in a younger stroke population studies are needed to explore perceived health-related differences between young individuals with stroke and a matched general population. Further, to provide long-term measures by health care, relevant to the same young individuals with stroke, their perceived long-term functioning and disability associated with health need to be explored.


The generic questionnaire EQ-5D was used to compare ratings of global health and disability between young individuals living in the community up to 6 years after stroke (n = 150) and an age and geographically matched general population (n = 2661). Stroke related medical data were retrieved from medical records and the study specific questionnaire, the MYS-questionnaire, was used to assess self-rated disability associated with global health.


Among the young individuals 79% had suffered a mild stroke, 45% rated a low global health compared to 15% of the matched general population and a higher proportion rated problems in mobility, self-care, usual activities and anxiety/depression. Among the young individuals with stroke, limitations and restrictions in leisure activities, work, reading as well as low level of physical activity, utilizing personal care provider or personal assistance and tiredness were negatively associated with self-rated global health (R square 0.60).


The negative effects of stroke, on self-rated global health among young individuals living in the community, appear to be substantial, multi factorial and long-standing which call for interdisciplinary research collaborations and team measures by health care long-term.

Community; Disability; Health; Stroke; Young