Longitudinal investigation of fatigue following mild stroke: impact on community integration
Cornwell, P., Gustafsson, L., Hodson, T., Kuys, S., Wong, A., Thompson, L.
Background: Fatigue has been identified as a common sequelae of stroke, however there has been minimal exploration of fatigue for people with mild stroke, including the relationship with reintegration into “normal” life. An additional gap is the understanding of different types of fatigue, such as motor and cognitive, and the impacts for people with mild stroke.
Aims: To describe the presence of fatigue at 1-, 3-, and 6- months after mild stroke, including motor and cognitive fatigue, and to examine relationships with self-reported return to everyday activities.
Methods: Randomised controlled trial with secondary outcome measures of fatigue (Fatigue Scale for Motor and Cognitive Function) and return to everyday activities (Reintegration to Normal Living Index [RNLI]) at 1-,3-, and 6- months after mild stroke. Descriptive methods explored fatigue across the three time points and linear mixed modelling explored within and between groups differences for the RNLI with fatigue as a covariate.
Results: Forty-nine participants (n = 49) with mean age of 63 years (SD 15) and average length of hospital stay of 6 days (SD 4.4). No significant differences were found between the groups (p = .63). All participants reported fatigue, with reducing total fatigue scores of 46.6 at 1-month, 45.2 at 3-months, and 42.7 at 6-months (p = .24). There was an inverse relationship between RNLI and fatigue (p < .001).
Conclusion: The findings highlight that fatigue has a continuing and significant influence on a person’s ability to return to everyday activities up to six months following a mild stroke.