Health problems in elderly patients during the first post-stroke year
Background. A wide range of health problems has been reported in elderly post-stroke patients.
Aim. The aim of this study was to analyse the prevalence and timing of health problems identified by patient interviews and scrutiny of primary health care and municipality elderly health care records during the first post-stroke year.
Methods. A total of 390 consecutive patients, ‡65 years, discharged alive from hospital after a stroke event, were followed for 1 year post-admission. Information on the health care situation during the first post-stroke year was obtained from primary health care and municipal elderly health care records and through interviews with the stroke survivors, at 1 week after discharge, and 3 and 12 months after hospital admission.
Results. More than 90% had some health problem at some time during the year, while based on patient record data only 4–8% had problems during a given week. The prevalence of interview-based health problems was generally higher than recordbased prevalence, and the ranking order was moderately different. The most frequently interview-reported problems were associated with perception, activity, and tiredness, while the most common record-based findings indicated pain, bladder and bowel function, and breathing and circulation problems. There was co-occurrence between some problems, such as those relating to cognition, activity, and tiredness.
Conclusions. Almost all patients had a health problem during the year, but few occurred in a given week. Cognitive and communication problems were more common in interview data than record data. Co-occurrence may be used to identify subtle health problems.
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