Table of Contents
ISRN Stroke
Volume 2012, Article ID 629589, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/629589
Research Article

Poststroke Fatigue Is Still a Neglected Issue: Findings from an Internet-Based Study on the Need for Information and Treatment in The Netherlands

1Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, Leiden University, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands
3G-Kracht Psychomedical Centre, 2611 KG, Delft, The Netherlands
4Department of Medical Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
5Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
6Research, Development and Education, Sint Maartenskliniek, 6500 GM Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Received 16 March 2012; Accepted 29 April 2012

Academic Editors: J. Danckert, C. Fieschi, H. McNaughton, and A. Miller

Copyright © 2012 Aglaia M. E. E. Zedlitz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To evaluate the need for information and treatment of poststroke fatigue (PSF) in community-dwelling patients with stroke in The Netherlands. Methods. Data were obtained from a Dutch internet-based questionnaire. The amount of information received about PSF, self-management and other treatment options, and the perceived need for treatment were scored. PSF was assessed with two Visual Numerical Scales of fatigue severity (VNSF), the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS7), and by scoring the nature (physical versus mental) and onset time of PSF. Results. Data were available of 538 stroke survivors (mean age 52 years, 45% men, and mean time since onset 2.7 years). Severe fatigue (both VNSF items ≥7; 48%) and severe fatigue impact (FSS7 > 5; 68%) were frequent. Most participants (57%) experienced both physical and mental fatigue. Only 17% of the respondents indicated to have had received sufficient information about PSF and 7% about treatment options, whereas 56% expressed a substantial need for treatment. The need for treatment was moderately associated with fatigue severity and fatigue impact, whereas information status was not related to any demographical, fatigue, or stroke characteristic. Conclusions. PSF is a significant symptom after stroke requiring medical attention and treatment. The results of this survey indicate that patients do not receive adequate information on PSF.