Content » Vol 49, Issue 8

Original report

Perceived impact of stroke six years after onset, and changes in impact between one and six years

Charlotte Ytterberg, Malin Dybäck, Aileen Bergström, Susanne Guidetti, Gunilla Eriksson
Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, SE-141 83 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2258


Objective: To examine the perceived impact of stroke between 1 and 6 years after stroke using the Stroke Impact Scale 3. 0 (SIS).
Design: A prospective longitudinal study.
Methods: A total of 100 individuals were assessed using the SIS 3. 0 at 1 and 6 years after onset of stroke and clinically meaningful changes were explored. Changes in domain scores were calculated over time in relation to age, sex and stroke severity.
Results: The most impacted SIS domains after 6 years were Participation, Strength, Hand function, and Stroke recovery. Participants with moderate/severe stroke experienced a higher impact in all domains except Hand function and Stroke recovery, indicating more problems in everyday life, compared with those with mild stroke. Almost half of the participants had a clinically meaningful change in the domain Participation between 1 and 6 years. Those with moderate/severe stroke and the older age group experienced more negative clinically meaningful changes in several domains in comparison with those with mild stroke and the younger age group.
Conclusion: The long-term perceived impact of stroke highlights the importance of appropriate rehabilitation interventions within several areas to reduce the long-term negative impact in everyday life.

Lay Abstract

Everyday life after a stroke can be problematic also in the long term.  If we can better understand how people perceive the impact of their stroke, we can have a better chance to help them with the right rehabilitation, at the right time.  We asked 100 persons one year after their stroke and then 5 years later questions dealing with how the stroke impacted their lives. Six years after stroke these persons perceived that their physical strength, hand function and participation in everyday life was the most impacted areas. The older age group and those with a more severe stroke experienced more problems over the years than those that were younger and had a less severe stroke.


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