Aims and objectives. To explore how a stroke or a transient ischemic attack affects quality of life and to identify gender differences.
Background. The negative effect of a stroke on the patients’ quality of life has previously been studied, while the effect on patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) is more unknown, especially in relation to gender. As poor quality of life may have a negative effect on rehabilitation it is important to investigate quality of life in this group.
Design. A descriptive cross-sectional survey.
Methods. All stroke and transient ischemic attack patients appointed to the out-patient stroke clinic between May 2008–August 2009 were asked to complete the Nottingham Health Profile.
Results. Of 1048 patients, 379 (50%) of the stroke patients and 117 (40%) of the patients with transient ischemic attack completed the form within the first months after onset. Female stroke patients were significantly more negatively affected in all domains except the social domain than were male stroke patients. Female transient ischemic attack patients were significantly more negatively affected in all domains than were male transient ischemic attack patients. Male stroke patients had a significantly more negatively affected quality of life than male transient ischemic attack patients in the emotional, energy, social and total domains, while female stroke patients and female transient ischemic attack patients were equally negatively affected.
Conclusions. This study shows that female stroke patients are more negatively affected in their quality of life than male stroke patients and that female transient ischemic attack patients are as affected as female stroke patients. This indicates that female patients with both stroke and TIA need more attention concerning their life situation.
Relevance to clinical practice. Increased knowledge about how transient ischemic attack patients are affected, indicate that this group need support postdischarge to the same extension as stroke patients.