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Keywords:

  • Chinese;
  • cognitive;
  • emotional;
  • older adults;
  • quality of life;
  • self-care dependency;
  • stroke

Abstract

Title. Predictors of poststroke quality of life in older Chinese adults.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to identify the changes in poststroke quality of life and other clinical issues among older Chinese adults from 1 month to 6 months after stroke and the predictors of poststroke quality of life at 6 months.

Background.  Stroke survivors are known to suffer from prolonged and multiple impairments leading to a compromised quality of life, but few studies report early predictors for quality of life among older Chinese adults after active rehabilitation has been undertaken during the first 6 months after stroke.

Method.  A total of 214 patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke were interviewed by a research nurse at 1 month and 188 patients were interviewed again 6 months after hospital admission for stroke. Assessment of quality of life was done using the Modified Rankin Scale for Quality of Life. Changes in and relationships between quality of life and variables in five domains were explored: bio-anatomical, physical, emotional, cognitive, communicative and social support. The data were collected in 2004–2005.

Results.  Quality of life among two-thirds of participants was unchanged or lower when scores at 1 month and 6 months after stroke were compared. Length of hospital stay after admission for stroke and other 1-month factors – level of worry over current health, cognitive and self-care deficits – were identified as having independent effects on quality of life at 6 months.

Conclusion.  Clinicians need to observe for early signs of mild cognitive impairments and emotional needs of stroke survivors, as well as to consider longer-term interventions to enhance poststroke quality of life.