Content » Vol 36, Issue 2

Possible interpretation of subjective complaints in patients with spontaneous subarachnoid haemorrhage

Aaro Toomela A1, Aleksander Pulver A2, Tiiu Tomberg A3, Anu Orasson A3, Arvo Tikk A3, Toomas Asser A3
A1 Departments of Special Education University of Tartu Estonia
A2 Department of Psychology Tallinn Pedagogical University Estonia
A3 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery University of Tartu Estonia

DOI: 10.1080/16501970310017414


Objective: To analyse factors related to subjective non-cognitive and cognitive complaints in patients with spontaneous subarachnoid haemorrhage. Subjects: Twenty-seven patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage and 27 age-, sex- and education-matched healthy controls. Methods: A battery of cognitive tests measuring visuo-spatial abilities, verbal abilities, and fine-motor skill, Brief Social Support Questionnaire, and Life Orientation Scale were individually presented to all participants. Results: Cognitive complaints were related to low social support but not to cognitive performance. Complaints about headaches and dizziness were also related to decreased cognitive performance. Above-normal optimistic life-orientation was related to the absence of complaints in patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage. Healthy participants were best discriminated from patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage by less satisfactory social support system and decreased fine motor skills in the latter group. Conclusion: Change in social support network may be an important resource for increasing quality of life in patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage not only through help provided by supporters but also indirectly, through increasing subjective well-being. The absence of subjective complaints in patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage is not necessarily related to better objective condition but rather to inadequately optimistic life orientation.

Lay Abstract


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