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Place Of Residence And Employment Status After Stroke

      Objectives

      To investigate the living and employment situation of patients after stroke, and examine whether this differs by degree of disability.

      Methods

      We conducted an observational retrospective study among 569 post-stroke patients and examined changes in employment and living situation. The investigational period was divided into 3 intervals: < 3,3-6 and >6 months after stroke. All patients had their mRS (modified Rankin Score, ranging from 0 full health to 5 severely dependent) measured at 3 months after stroke, plus an additional mRS assessment if their stroke was more than 6 months ago. Patients were recruited in 10 regional and university hospitals across Belgium using a convenience sample stratified by mRS.

      Results

      Before their stroke the majority of patients lived at home (99%) despite the fact that 13% had a previous stroke. At 3 months after stroke an association was found between the time spent in an inpatient care facility (hospital, rehabilitation facility, nursing home) and the mRS (p<0.0001 Weibull survival analysis, average inpatients days were 9.2, 14.1, 27.7, 53.4, 67.0 and 73.4 for mRS 0-5 respectively). Between 3 and 6 months after stroke on average 7% of patients were staying in a rehabilitation facility and 5% in a nursing home; these were mostly patients with mRS >= 3. After six months all patients returned home, except patients with mRS4 (36% home) and mRS5 (38% home). Before stroke 70% of patients were retired; in those working before their stroke, 16-20% patients in mRS categories 0-2 were working again compared to none in mRS category 3-5, of which 14% took early retirement or leave of absence.

      Conclusions

      Experiencing a mild stroke will not affect the patient’s employment and living situation beyond the short term; however suffering a severe stroke is likely to lead to significant changes in place of residence and occupation.