Perceived disability after stroke may persist long-term even among young individuals with mild stroke and may be related to age-related expectations of health and recovery. Thus, in order to appreciate the magnitude of perceived disability in a younger stroke population studies are needed to explore perceived health-related differences between young individuals with stroke and a matched general population. Further, to provide long-term measures by health care, relevant to the same young individuals with stroke, their perceived long-term functioning and disability associated with health need to be explored.
The generic questionnaire EQ-5D was used to compare ratings of global health and disability between young individuals living in the community up to 6 years after stroke (n = 150) and an age and geographically matched general population (n = 2661). Stroke related medical data were retrieved from medical records and the study specific questionnaire, the MYS-questionnaire, was used to assess self-rated disability associated with global health.
Among the young individuals 79% had suffered a mild stroke, 45% rated a low global health compared to 15% of the matched general population and a higher proportion rated problems in mobility, self-care, usual activities and anxiety/depression. Among the young individuals with stroke, limitations and restrictions in leisure activities, work, reading as well as low level of physical activity, utilizing personal care provider or personal assistance and tiredness were negatively associated with self-rated global health (R square 0.60).