BACKGROUND: Currently little data exist on the development of quality of life over time in patients suffering from stroke, in particular using instruments that can be adapted in economic studies. The purpose of the study was to assess the utility loss and indirect costs following a stroke in Sweden.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional mail survey. METHODS: In collaboration with the National Stroke registry (RIKS-STROKE), a questionnaire consisting of the EuroQol-5D and questions regarding the present working status and the status prior to the stroke was mailed to patients below 76 years of age at six participating centres. The questionnaire was mailed to 393 patients in total, divided into groups with 3, 6, 9 or 12 months having passed since the stroke. The EuroQol-5D scores were converted to utility scores using the UK social tariff. Indirect costs were valued according to the average salary+employer contributions.
RESULTS: A total of 275 questionnaires (70%) were returned. Utility scores were similar over time: 0.65, 0.75, 0.63, and 0.67 at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, respectively. Regression analyses revealed a tendency for lower utility scores among women, but no significant differences overall. Among patients in the working ages, a stroke caused 18.5 work weeks lost, corresponding to an indirect cost of 120,000 Swedish Kronor (SEK) (13,200euro, 95% confidence interval 82,541-160,050 SEK, 9080-17 605euro).
CONCLUSIONS: Stroke causes a significant reduction in utility and causes high indirect costs. A substantial improvement was not noted over time, which is important to consider in economic models.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008. Vol. 15, no 2, 230-233 p.