Recovery and Quality of Life in Patients with Ruptured Cerebral Aneurysms
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) secondary to ruptured cerebral aneurysm is a common and frequently devastating condition with a high mortality and morbidity among survivors. The purpose of this study was to conduct a long-term follow-up of SAH patients, assess the changes in functional outcomes, describe quality of life (QOL), and determine its predictors 3.6 years after the hemorrhage.
The study design is an exploratory, descriptive correlational design.
Results were collected from a sample of 113 SAH survivors treated in our institution over a 2-year period (January 2006 until December 2007). We collected data on early and long-term functional outcomes and compared the differences. The health-related QOL was measured using the Polish version of The Short Form – 36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36v2). Multivariable logistic regression was derived to define independent predictors of the QOL.
The mean follow-up time was 3.6 years. Sixty-six percent of patients had improvement in functional outcomes and among previously employed people 56% returned to work. QOL deteriorated in 24% of patients with the most affected dimension of Physical Role. Factors that predict good QOL are male gender, younger age, good economic/professional status, lack of physical handicaps, rehabilitation in a professional center, subjective improvement in health status, and absence of headaches or physical decline.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance
Recovery process in SAH patients is dynamic and progresses over time. Since physical handicaps and low economic status significantly reduce the quality of life, an effort should be made to provide intensive rehabilitation and to encourage SAH survivors to return to work.