Quality of life after ischemic stroke varies in Western countries : data from the Tinzaparin in Acute Ischaemic Stroke Trial (TAIST)
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases / National Stroke Association. - Englewood, Colo.
, p. 587-593
University of Antwerp
Functional outcome after stroke varies significantly between countries. However, whether health-related quality of life (QoL) after stroke also differs between countries is unknown. TAIST was a randomised controlled trial assessing the safety and efficacy of tinzaparin versus aspirin in 1484 patients with acute ischaemic stroke across 11 countries. Countries were grouped into 5 geographic regions: British Isles (Ireland and UK), Franco (Belgium and France), North America (Canada), northwest Europe (Germany and The Netherlands), and Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden). QoL was measured at 6 months using the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) health survey. The relationship between region and QoL was assessed relative to the British Isles using linear regression adjusted for case mix, service quality variables, and treatment assignment. A total of 1220 survivors were included in this analysis. Significant differences in QoL were identified between countries and regions; northwest Europe rated their QoL highest in terms of physical functioning (20.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 10.8-29.8), bodily pain (12.3; 95% CI, 2.7-22.0), and vitality (9.0; 95% CI, 1.1-16.9). Franco countries reported the lowest QoL for emotional role (−17.9; 95% CI, −32.6 to −3.3) and mental health (−11.2; 95% CI, −18.2 to −4.3). The British Isles rated QoL lowest for physical and social functioning. Our data indicate that QoL varies considerably among countries and regions, even when adjusted for prognostic case mix and care quality variables. How different case mixes and healthcare systems might contribute to these findings merits further investigation.