Background: Quality of life (QoL) is reduced for stroke patients and coping strategies have been suggested as determinants of QoL. Thus far the relationship between coping and QoL has only been examined in small-scale cross-sectional designs. Therefore, the current study set out to examine this relationship in a longitudinal setting. Methods: Stroke patients who were discharged home were interviewed at 4 different time points; just before discharge (T1), and 2 months (T2), 5 months (T3) and 9-12 months after discharge (T4). QoL was measured by the EQ-5D index score and the SF-36 utility score and coping expressed in terms of tenacious goal pursuit and flexible goal adjustment. Modified Rankin scale was assessed as a measure of general functioning. Results: Eighty stroke patients were included. Coping was not predictive of QoL at T1 and T2 but rather at T3 and T4. At T4 both coping strategies determined the levels of QoL as measured with the EQ-5D index score; higher levels of tenacious goal pursuit as well as flexible goal adjustment were associated with higher levels of QoL. This regression model explained 44% of the variance. Conclusions: Coping is a powerful determinant of QoL, but only more than 5 months after discharge; before this time QoL is mainly determined by general functioning. Both coping strategies were important determinants of QoL. Copyright

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Cerebrovascular Diseases
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Darlington, A.-S., Dippel, D., Ribbers, G., van Balen, R., Passchier, J., & van Busschbach, J. (2007). Coping strategies as determinants of quality of life in stroke patients: A longitudinal study. Cerebrovascular Diseases, 23(5-6), 401–407. doi:10.1159/000101463