Prevalence and Impact of Poststroke Fatigue on Patient Outcomes in the First 6 Months After Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Journal of Neuroscience Nursing


BACKGROUND: Post-stroke fatigue (PSF) is one of the most pervasive and debilitating symptoms after stroke and has a negative impact on activities of daily living (ADLs) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of stroke survivors. However, to date, no study has systematically reviewed the prevalence of PSF at different points in time after stroke. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of PSF and its impact on ADLs and HRQoL in the first 6 months post stroke. METHOD: CINAHL, MEDLINE, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Index to Theses were searched from 1983 to August 2022 for studies published in English. Studies were included if they were conducted on adults 18 years and older, and were observational, correlational, and quantitative components of mixed methods reporting on PSF, ADLs, and HRQoL post stroke. RESULTS: Thirty studies were included in this review, and all had a high methodological quality. The pooled prevalence of PSF at 1 to 6 weeks was 49.5%; at 3 months, it was 41.9%; and at 6 months, it was 43.4%. A negative correlation between PSF and ADLs was observed at 1, 2, and 4 to 6 weeks, and at 3 and 6 months post stroke. A significant negative correlation between PSF and HRQoL was observed within the first week (r = -0.40, P <.05) and at 3 and 6 months post stroke. The results at 3 and 6 months post stroke were inclusive. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of PSF in the first 6 weeks, particularly in the first 2 weeks after stroke, is high and has a significant negative impact on stroke survivors' ADLs and HRQoL. Only a limited number of studies assessed PSF within the first 2 weeks after stroke.

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