Purpose: This study focused on the relationships between cognition, participation and quality of life (QoL) among first-ever mild ischemic stroke patients 3 months post-event. We hypothesized that significant correlations exist between cognition, executive functions (EF), QoL and participation; and that EF and QoL will significantly contribute to participation beyond demographics and stroke severity at 3 and from 3 to 6 months post-stroke. Methods: A prospective cohort study, recruiting consecutive first-ever stroke patients from a large tertiary hospital. The inclusion criteria were first event, mild stroke (NIHSS≤5), and no previous significant neurological or cognitive impairment. In addition to assessment every 6 month at the hospital, an assessment battery was administered at home 3 months post-stroke. Results: Participants showed mild to moderate difficulties in cognition and participation (n=249). Low to moderate correlations were found between cognition and EF with participation (-0.380, p<0.05; r=0.460, p<0.001, respectively); and cognition with QoL (r=0.421, p<0.001). EF and QoL contributed significantly to participation at 3 months (R2=0.961) and in addition education at 6 months (R2=0.701). Conclusions: Participants after mild ischemic stroke experienced cognitive and EF difficulties that affect their participation and QoL. Further studies are needed of mild stroke survivors to enhance our understanding of the variables that affect participation.Implications for RehabilitationThe findings of the current study have significant implications for the participation of people after mild stroke in the community. Health care systems in general and rehabilitation programs, in particular, do not consider that these clients need rehabilitation as most of them perform basic daily functions independently. Thus, although cognitive and EF deficits are found in people following even mild stroke, but are not externally apparent, these impairments are mostly neglected by the health care system. Mild stroke has long-term effects in most cases and effect family members as well.The implications of the study's results, as well as those of other studies, emphasize the necessity of follow-up and rehabilitation efforts at home and in the community. These efforts should focus on re-enabling the individual to participate in previous activities as much as possible and on providing support for family members.The strength of this study lies in the large number of participants who were evaluated at home in their natural environments. Studies of this kind are rarely performed in the participants' real-life settings, thus the current study provides an important perspective on the participation of this population in the community.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This part of the TABASCO study was funded by Ono Academic College, Israel. There was no conflict of interest between the authors and the funding agency.
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- Community reintegration
- Executive functions
- Quality of life