Health-related quality of life in persons with long-term pain after a stroke


  • Marita Widar MSc, RNT,

  • Gerd Ahlström PhD, RN,

  • Anna-Christina Ek PhD, RN

Marita Widar
Department of Caring Sciences
Örebro University
SE-701 82 Örebro
Telephone: +46 19 303647


Background.  No study has, to our knowledge, previously been published on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a group suffering from long-term pain after a stroke.

Aim.  The aim of the present study was to describe HRQoL in persons with long-term pain after a stroke, and to compare this with different types of pain conditions, age, gender and household status.

Design.  This study has a design combining qualitative and quantitative methods.

Methods.  Forty three participants suffering from long-term pain after a stroke were included. A qualitative interview was performed and then analysed by means of latent content analysis. In addition, two self-report questionnaires, SF-36 and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD Scale), were used.

Results.  The qualitative data revealed that physical and cognitive functioning, economic security and good relationships, support and having the ability to be together with family and friends were important factors with regard to experienced HRQoL. No significant differences were found in SF-36 and the HAD Scale with regard to the different types of pain. The older age group had decreased physical functioning in SF-36. The men had more decreased vitality than the women.

Conclusion.  The results show, that the participants in this study have a lower HRQoL due to their long-term pain than those in previous studies on stroke survivors. It is evident that further research is needed with longitudinal studies and larger populations to gain more knowledge and thereby provide better supportive care.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Awareness and understanding of the patients’ perceptions and transitions with regard to their life situation and suffering from long-term pain after a stroke is important in order to support a maintained or increased HRQoL. This is also important after the acute stage and rehabilitation, including quality of life of the relatives, especially to older and dependent persons.