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Handicap after stroke: how does it relate to disability, perception of recovery, and stroke subtype?: the north North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study (NEMESIS)



Handicap after stroke: how does it relate to disability, perception of recovery, and stroke subtype?: the north North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study (NEMESIS)



Stroke 33(3): 762-768



Knowledge of patterns of handicap after stroke and of the relationship among handicap, disability, perception of recovery, and stroke subtype is limited. The aim of this study was to assess handicap 3 and 12 months after first-ever stroke in a community-based study. All strokes occurring in a population of 133 816 people were found and assessed. Patients were classified as having cerebral infarction (CI) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) according to imaging or autopsy findings. Cases of CI were categorized using the Oxfordshire stroke classification. Handicap, disability, and perception of recovery were assessed 3 and 12 months after stroke using the London Handicap Scale, Barthel Index, and the question "Have you made a complete recovery from your stroke?" The association between disability and handicap was examined using Pearson's correlation. Differences in handicap among subtypes of CI were evaluated using one-way ANOVA. There were 264 cases of CI or ICH. Of surviving patients, 113 (59%) were assessed at 3 months and 107 (64%) at 12 months. The domains of handicap most affected were physical independence and occupation. Only half the variance in handicap was due to disability. Of patients without disability, those who claimed complete recovery were less handicapped than those who claimed incomplete recovery. Patients with total anterior circulation infarction were more handicapped at 3 and 12 months than those with other subtypes of CI. Stroke patients were handicapped across many domains. Handicap is only partly explained by disability. Stroke subtype should be considered in the interpretation of outcome data.

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Accession: 046211283

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PMID: 11872901


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