VA Research and Development LOGO

Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 41 Number 3a, May/June 2004
Pages 279 — 282


Abstract - How strong is the relationship between functional status and quality of life among persons with stroke?
Gregory P. Samsa, PhD; David B. Matchar, MD
Center for Clinical Health Policy Research, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, and Department
of Medicine, Duke University, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC
Abstract — The quantitative relationship between functional status and self-reported quality of life is relatively unexamined. As part of the 1-, 6-, and 12-month telephone follow-up of consecutive patients in an observational study of patients with stroke, we found that while higher functional status was associated with better quality of life, this relationship was relatively weak (Spearman correlation <0.25). Patients with similar levels of disability reported quite different qualities of life. Any improvement in quality of life over time was modest at best. Mean utilities for patients with minor stroke were near 0.80, while those for patients with major stroke were near 0.60, the latter figure exceeding previous reports. Quality of life with major stroke may not necessarily be as low as that reported before such a stroke occurs. Quality of life after stroke is heterogeneous and depends on more than just level of physical function.

Key words: functional status, quality of life, stroke, time trade-off.

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