Quality of life after stroke in Pakistan

Wardah Khalid, Shafquat Rozi, Tazeen Saeed Ali, Iqbal Azam, Michael T. Mullen, Saleem Illyas, Qamar un-Nisa, Nabila Soomro, Ayeesha Kamran Kamal

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is very little information about the quality of life (QOL) of stroke survivors in LMIC countries with underdeveloped non communicable health infrastructures, who bear two thirds of the global stroke burden. Methodology: We used a sequential mix methods approach. First, a quantitative analytical cross-sectional study was conducted on 700 participants, who constituted 350 stroke survivor and their caregiver dyads. QOL of stroke survivor was assessed via Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale (SSQOLS) whereas QOL of caregivers was assessed through RAND-36. In addition; we assessed complications, psychosocial and functional disability of stroke survivors. Following this quantitative survey, caregivers were qualitatively interviewed to uncover contextually relevant themes that would evade quantitative surveys. Multiple linear regression technique was applied to report adjusted β-coefficients with 95% C.I. Results: The QOL study was conducted from January 2014 till June 2014, in two large private and public centers. At each center, 175 dyads were interviewed to ensure representativeness. Median age of stroke survivors was 59(17) years, 68% were male, 60% reported depression and 70% suffered post-stroke complications. The mean SSQOLS score was 164.18 ± 32.30. In the final model severe functional disability [adjβ -33.77(-52.44, -15.22)], depression [adjβ-23.74(-30.61,-16.82)], hospital admissions [adjβ-5.51(-9.23,-1.92)] and severe neurologic pain [adjβ -12.41(-20.10,-4.77)] negatively impacted QOL of stroke survivors (P < 0.01). For caregivers, mean age was 39.18 ± 13.44 years, 51% were female and 34% reported high stress levels. Complementary qualitative study revealed that primary caregivers were depressed, frustrated, isolated and also disappointed by health services. Conclusion: The QOL of Stroke survivors as reported by SSQOLS score was better than compared to those reported from other LMIC settings. However, Qualitative triangulation revealed that younger caregivers felt isolated, depressed, overwhelmed and were providing care at great personal cost. There is a need to develop cost effective holistic home support interventions to improve lives of the survivor dyad as a unit. Trial registration:NCT02351778(Registered as Observational Study).

Original languageEnglish
Article number250
JournalBMC Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2016


  • Chronic Disease
  • Complications
  • Epidemiology
  • FGD`S (Focus group discussion) Sequential Mix Methods
  • LMIC (Lower middle income country)
  • Post-stroke depression
  • Stroke Specific Quality of life scale (SSQOLS)
  • Triangulation


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