Quality of Life in Younger Adults after First Stroke
Shenka Alfassa, Revital Ronen, Haim Ring, Aida Dynia, Ada Tamir, Reuben Eldar
Fleischman Unit for Study of Disability, Neurological Ward, Loewenstein Hospital, Ra'anana
To study the effect of stroke on the quality of life in younger adults, 199 patients 17-49 years of age who had sustained a first stroke between 1.11.92 and 31.10.93 were followed up. They were interviewed by telephone at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after the event. 2 died during the first year of follow-up, and 8 had recurrent strokes. After 2 years, 8 additional patients had died and 4 had sustained recurrent events. Gradual improvement was reported within all age groups and in all areas. During the 3-6 months period, a mean of 4% improvement occurred in functional capability, 15% in social and recreational activity and 8% in return-to-work. The 6-12 month period showed an increase of 3% in improvement in mean functional capability, 10% in social and recreational activity and 2% in return-to-work. 1 year after the stroke 27% remained with moderate to severe disability, but over 86% were functionally independent in their daily living activities. There were no significant changes during the second year of follow-up in these statistics. 67% of those employed prior to their stroke returned to work and approximately 70% reported a return to prestroke social and recreational activity. These results demonstrate that the relatively high recovery rate and functional improvement during a year of follow-up were not accompanied by similar rates of improvement in emplyment and in social integration. They indicate the need for increased emphasis on long-term psychosocial rehabilitation services within the community.