Health-related quality of life (QoL) is poor after stroke, but may be improved with comprehensive care plans. We aimed to determine the effects of an individualized management program on QoL in people with stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), describe changes in QoL over time, and identify variables associated with QoL.
This was a multicenter, cluster randomized controlled trial with blinded assessment of outcomes and intention‐to‐treat analysis. Patients with stroke or TIA aged ≥ 18 years were randomized by general practice to receive usual care or an intervention comprising a tailored chronic disease management plan and education. QoL was assessed at baseline and 3, 12, and 24 months after baseline using the Assessment of Quality of Life instrument. Patient responses were converted to utility scores ranging from − 0.04 (worse than death) to 1.00 (good health). Mixed-effects models were used for analyses.
Among 563 participants recruited (mean age 68.4 years, 64.5% male), median utility scores ranged from 0.700 to 0.772 at different time points, with no difference observed between intervention and usual care groups. QoL improved significantly from baseline to 3 months (ß = 0.019; P = 0.015) and 12 months (ß = 0.033; P < 0.001), but not from baseline to 24 months (ß = 0.013; P = 0.140) in both groups combined. Older age, females, lower educational attainment, greater handicap, anxiety and depression were longitudinally associated with poor QoL.
An individualized management program did not improve QoL over 24 months. Those who are older, female, with lower educational attainment, greater anxiety, depression and handicap may require greater support.
Clinical trial registration
https://www.anzctr.org.au. Unique identifier: ACTRN12608000166370.