Author(s): Glader EL, Stegmayr B, Asplund K
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Fatigue is common among stroke patients. This study determined the prevalence of fatigue among long-term survivors after stroke and what impact fatigue had on various aspects of daily life and on survival. METHODS: This study was based on Riks-Stroke, a hospital-based national register for quality assessment of acute stroke events in Sweden. During the first 6 months of 1997, 8194 patients were registered in Riks-Stroke, and 5189 were still alive 2 years after the stroke. They were followed up by a mail questionnaire, to which 4023 (79\%) responded. Patients who reported that they always felt depressed were excluded. RESULTS: To the question, "Do you feel tired?" 366 (10.0\%) of the patients answered that they always felt tired, and an additional 1070 (29.2\%) were often tired. Patients who always felt tired were on average older than the rest of the study population (74.5 versus 71.5 years, P<0.001); therefore, all subsequent analyses were age adjusted. Fatigue was an independent predictor for having to move into an institutional setting after stroke. Fatigue was also an independent predictor for being dependent in primary activities of daily living functions. Three years after stroke, patients with fatigue also had a higher case fatality rate. CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue is frequent and often severe, even late after stroke. It is associated with profound deterioration of several aspects of everyday life and with higher case fatality, but it usually receives little attention by healthcare professionals. Intervention studies are needed.
This article was published in Stroke
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation