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Open Access Research article

Associations between quality of life and socioeconomic factors, functional impairments and dissatisfaction with received information and home-care services among survivors living at home two years after stroke onset

Michèle Baumann1*, Etienne Le Bihan2, Kénora Chau3 and Nearkasen Chau4

Author Affiliations

1 Medical sociologist, Research Unit INSIDE, Institute Health & Behaviour, University of Luxembourg, L-7201 Walferdange, Luxembourg

2 Statistician, Research Unit INSIDE, Institute Health & Behaviour, University of Luxembourg, L-7201 Walferdange, Luxembourg

3 Physician and epidemiologist, Lorraine University, Faculty of Medicine, Service of General Medicine, F-54505 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France

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

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BMC Neurology 2014, 14:92  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-14-92

Published: 28 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Quality of life (QoL) assessment is important when monitoring over time the recovery of stroke-survivors living at home. This study explores the associations between QoL and socioeconomic factors, functional impairments and self-reported dissatisfaction with received information and home-care services among survivors two years after stroke onset. This problem remains partially addressed though optimal information and services may improve survivors’ QoL.

Methods

Stroke-survivors admitted to all hospitals in Luxembourg 18 months or more previously were identified using the only care-expenditure-reimbursement national system database. The clinical diagnosis was confirmed. Ninety four patients aged 65 years and living at home were interviewed to gather socioeconomic characteristics, functional impairments, dissatisfaction with information and home-care services, and QoL (using the Newcastle Stroke-Specific QoL, newsqol) assessing 11 domains. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression models.

Results

About 50% of survivors had low education and lower income. Functional impairments were common: sensory (45%), motor (35%), memory (32%), language (31%), and vision (20%). Survivors with education (<12th grade) or lower income had low values for most newsqol domains (sex-age-adjusted regression coefficient saRC, i.e. mean difference, between -23 and -8). Patients who were working had better values for pain, mental feelings and sleep domains than did retired people (saRC between -3.9 and 4.2). Various functional impairments were associated with markedly low values of nearly all domains (saRC between -33.5 and -7.5) and motor, language, memory and sensory impairments had the highest impact. The survivors’ perceived QoL was markedly low, especially for the domains of interpersonal relationship, sleep, cognition, mental feelings, and pain. Various QoL domains were strongly related to dissatisfaction with information about stroke and its consequences/changes over time, accuracy of information obtained, help received, coordination between services, and the possibility of receiving help when necessary (saRC reaching -30).

Conclusions

Stroke-survivors had major alterations in QoL that reflected depressive symptoms, which should be appropriately treated. These findings may help with the development of public policies aiming at improving QoL among stroke survivors. The newsqol could be used routinely to measure the recovery of survivors over time and their needs in terms of information, help and care services.

Keywords:
Newcastle Stroke-Specific Quality of Life; Newsqol; Quality of life; Dissatisfaction; Home-care services; Information; Post-stroke