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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 126275, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/126275
Research Article

The Course of Fatigue during the First 18 Months after First-Ever Stroke: A Longitudinal Study

1Department of Research, Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital, Lovisenberggt. 17, 0440 Oslo, Norway
2Division of Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital, PB 4956 Nydalen, 0424 Oslo, Norway
3Department of Family Health Care Nursing, University of California San Francisco, 2 Koret Way, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
4Department of Health Sciences, Buskerud University College, PB 7053, 3007 Drammen, Norway
5Department of Behavioral Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, PB 1111, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway

Received 7 June 2011; Revised 22 July 2011; Accepted 22 July 2011

Academic Editor: Gillian Mead

Copyright © 2012 Anners Lerdal 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

Background. Little is known about the course of poststroke fatigue. Objectives. To describe the course of poststroke fatigue in relation to the patient's level of physical functioning, depressive symptoms, and self-reported history of prestroke fatigue. Methods. A longitudinal study using structured face-to-face interviews, questionnaires, and patients' medical records. Data were collected from 95 patients in Norway with first-ever stroke. Fatigue was measured with the Fatigue Severity Scale 7 item version and assessed for change between the acute phase, six, 12, and 18 months after stroke using 2-way ANOVA repeated-measures analyses. Results. The patients' level of fatigue did not change over time. However, those who reported prestroke fatigue showed a relatively high level of fatigue over time in the poststroke period, while patients with no history of pre-stroke fatigue showed a stable course of relatively low fatigue over time. Conclusion. Studies on poststroke fatigue should control for the patient's pre-stroke fatigue level.