Does type of disability and participation in rehabilitation affect satisfaction of stroke survivors? Results from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Studies show that stroke survivors typically have lower life satisfaction than persons who have not been diagnosed with stroke.


To determine if significant differences in life satisfaction exist between stroke survivors with and without functional limitations and whether specific functional limitations, as well as participation in outpatient rehabilitation affect the odds of reported life satisfaction for stroke survivors.


Chi square analysis was used to examine data from the 2013 BRFSS to determine the relationship of functional limitations as well as participation in rehabilitation services to life satisfaction for stroke survivors. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine what variables increased the odds of reported poor life satisfaction.


Stroke survivors experiencing difficulty with cognition, depression and IADLs showed significantly lower life satisfaction than those who did not experience these functional limitations. Survivors exhibiting activity limitations had almost twice the odds of reporting poor life satisfaction and those experiencing limitations in cognition and IADLs had 2.88 times and 1.81 times the odds as others without these limitations of reporting poor life satisfaction, respectively. Participation in outpatient rehabilitation reduced the odds of reporting of poor life satisfaction by approximately one half.


Rehabilitation focused on addressing these functional limitations would increase life satisfaction for persons diagnosed with stroke. Future research on specific types of cognitive and daily living limitations would assist policy makers and referral sources in making appropriate referrals to rehabilitation.