Spouses of Stroke Survivors Report Reduced Health-Related Quality of Life Even in Long-Term Follow-Up
Results From Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke
Background and Purpose—The consequences for the family of stroke survivor are generally studied in a short-term perspective. The aim of this study was to assess long-term aspects of health-related quality of life among spouses of stroke survivors.
Methods—Data on stroke survivors, controls, and spouses were collected from the 7-year follow-up of the Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke (SAHLSIS). The health-related quality of life of spouses was assessed by the Short Form-36, and the characteristics of stroke survivors were assessed using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Barthel Index, and the modified Rankin Scale.
Results—Dyads of 248 stroke survivors aged <70 at stroke onset and 245 dyads of matched controls were included. Spouses of stroke survivors and spouses of controls had a median age of 64 and 65, respectively; proportion of men was 35% and 34%, respectively. The spouses of stroke survivors reported lower scores in all the mental domains (P=0.045; P<0.001), as well as in the domains of general health (P=0.013) and physical role (P=0.006), compared with the spouses of controls. Predictors of poor physical health of the spouses were their own age and the level of global disability of the stroke survivor. Predictors of poor mental health of the spouses were depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, and global disability among the stroke survivors.
Conclusions—The health-related quality of life of spouses of stroke survivors is reduced not only during the first years but also in the long-term perspective.
- Received April 27, 2015.
- Revision received July 3, 2015.
- Accepted July 7, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.