Content » Vol 49, Issue 9

Original report

Working capacity after a subarachnoid haemorrhage: A six-year follow-up

Emma Westerlind, Hanna C. Persson, Katharina S. Sunnerhagen
Department of clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, 41345 Gothenburg, Sweden: E-mail:

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2271


Objective: Subarachnoid haemorrhage can lead to long-term disabilities. It is a major health issue for the patient and can affect work capacity. The aim of this study was to investigate working capacity after subarachnoid haemorrhage from a long-term perspective, using data from national sick leave records. In addition, factors associated with working capacity were analysed.
Design: A retrospective cohort study.
Subjects/patients: A consecutive total sample of 38 working-age participants with first-ever subarachnoid haemorrhage was included. Working capacity of the 30 participants not on early retirement prior to the subarachnoid haemorrhage was analysed.
Methods: Working capacity was defined as no longer being registered on sick leave or early retirement in the Social Insurance Agency and not being age retired or deceased.
Results: Regain of working capacity continued until 2.5 years post-subarachnoid haemorrhage and 73% of the participants were deemed to have working capacity. Functional independence at discharge from hospital, and higher responsiveness at admittance were the main factors associated with an earlier regain of working capacity.
Conclusion: Nearly three-quarters of subjects were deemed to have working capacity within 2.5 years post-subarachnoid haemorrhage with a non-self-reported outcome. This information will help to individualize rehabilitation for affected persons.

Lay Abstract

Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) can lead to long-term disabilities. It is a major health issue for the affected person and can affect working capacity. We investigated working capacity after SAH with a long-term perspective. Of 30 participants of working age and working capacity at time of the SAH, 73% regained their working capacity during the six-year follow up. The regain of working capacity continued until 2.5 years after the SAH. Less symptoms at arrival to the hospital and low level of dependence at discharge were associated with better chance of regaining working capacity. The results from this study could be useful for individualizing the rehabilitation for the affected person.


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