Understanding the relationship between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and long-term unmet needs is important for guiding services to optimise life following stroke. We investigated whether HRQoL between 90 and 180 days following stroke was associated with long-term unmet needs.
Data from Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) registrants who participated in the Australian Stroke Survivor Needs Survey were used. Outcome data, including the EQ-5D, are routinely collected in AuSCR between 90 and 180 days post-stroke. Unmet needs were assessed at a median of 2 years and categorised into: health; everyday living; work/leisure; and support domains. Multivariable regression was used to determine associations between the EQ-5D dimensions and the likelihood of experiencing unmet needs and the visual analogue scale (VAS) (rating 0–100) and number of reported unmet needs.
In total, 173 AuSCR registrants completed the Needs Survey (median age 69 years, 67 % male; 77 % ischaemic stroke). VAS scores were negatively associated with the number of reported long-term unmet needs [irr 0.98, (95 % CI 0.97, 0 99) p < 0.001]. Having EQ-5D activity limitations was associated with unmet living needs (aOR 4.5, 95 % CI 1.1, 18.8). Requiring living supports at 90–180 days was associated with unmet health needs (aOR 4.9, 95 % CI 1.5, 16.1). Those with pain at 90–180 days were less likely to report unmet health (aOR 0.09, 95 % CI 0.02, 0.4) and support needs (aOR 0.2, 95 % CI 0.06, 0.6).
Routinely collected HRQoL data can identify survivors at risk of experiencing long-term unmet needs. This information is important for targeting service delivery to optimise outcomes following stroke.