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Depression and other determinants of values placed on current health state by stroke patients: evidence from the VA Acute Stroke (VASt) study.

Bosworth HB, Horner RD, Edwards LJ, Matchar DB. Depression and other determinants of values placed on current health state by stroke patients: evidence from the VA Acute Stroke (VASt) study. Stroke; A Journal of Cerebral Circulation. 2000 Nov 1; 31(11):2603-9.

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This prospective study examined the determinants of the utility (value) placed on health status among a sample of patients with acute ischemic and intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke. METHODS: Data were from the VA Acute Stroke (VASt) study, a nationwide prospective cohort of 1073 acute stroke patients admitted at any of 9 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center sites between April 1, 1995, and March 31, 1997. The primary outcome was the patient's health status utility as measured by the time-tradeoff method. Data were obtained by telephone interviews at 1, 6, and 12 months and by medical record review. General linear mixed modeling was used to assess the effects of social, psychological, and physical factors on patients' valuations of their current health state. The analysis was confined to the 327 patients who were able to provide self-reports at > / = 2 time points. RESULTS: Patients' valuations of their health state status over the initial 12 months after stroke were very stable over time, with only a slight improvement at 6 months, followed by a slight decline at 12 months. In adjusted analyses, living alone, being institutionalized, decreased physical function, and depression were independently associated with lower levels of patient health status utility over time. CONCLUSIONS: Stroke patient health status utilities are relatively stable during the initial year after stroke. In addition to physical function, psychological health and social environment are important determinants of patient health status utility. These factors need to be considered when conducting stroke decision analyses if more accurate conclusions are to be drawn regarding preferred patterns of care.

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