The purposes of this study were: (1) to evaluate the relationship between disability and Quality of Life (QoL) in stroke outpatients undergoing rehabilitation and (2) to determine whether and how demographic and social features of the patient, duration of disease and concomitant diseases influence the disability and QoL of the stroke outpatients. We performed a prospective study using several conventional disability measurements (Barthel Index, Functional Independence Measure, Modified Rankin Scale and Deambulation Index) and a validated patient-oriented measurement of QoL (SF-36). Sixty-eight outpatients were evaluated consecutively. As expected, all disability measurements were related to Physical Function: patients with higher disability, according to the physician's perspective, complained of higher deterioration of physical performance. Unexpectedly, patients with higher disability from the physician's point of view perceive that they were not able to do some daily activities not only because of physical problems but also because of emotional problems, and complained of higher deterioration of mental health. Multivariate analysis showed that higher disability is associated with higher age, depression and lower educational level. Physical Composite Score appeared to be deteriorated in patients with lower educational level who lived with family; on the contrary, Mental Composite Score appeared deteriorated in patients with higher educational level who lived alone. The current study provides interesting data about the relationship, not always expected, between disability and QoL for stroke patients and about the influence of patients' characteristics on disability and QoL. Our results showed that in a rehabilitation programme we should consider not only disability assessment but also QoL, which is more relevant for the patient.
- OUTCOME ASSESSMENT
- QUALITY OF LIFE