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Original report

Identifying sub-acute rehabilitation needs among individuals after transient ischaemic attack using rehab-compass as a simple screening tool in the outpatient clinic

Gustaf Magaard, Britt-Marie Stålnacke, Ann Sörlin, Fredrik Öhberg, Stina Berggren, Emma Grollmuss, Xiaolei Hu
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden.
DOI: 10.2340/20030711-1000018


Objective: To evaluate comprehensive unmet rehabilitation needs by using a novel graphic screening tool, Rehab-Compass, among individuals in the sub-acute stage after first-ever transient ischaemic attack.
Methods: A pilot prospective cohort study investigated 47 individuals with first-ever transient ischaemic attack in an outpatient clinic setting. By using Rehab-Compass, based on well-validated patient-reported outcome measure questionnaires, this study examined comprehensive unmet rehabilitation needs among individuals at 4-month follow-up after the onset of transient ischaemic attack.
Results: Rehab-Compass identified that most participants were independent in their daily lives (modified Rankin Scale; mRS 0–1) with a relatively good quality of life (median EuroQol 5 dimensions (EQ-5D) 0.85), but certain limitations in participation in their daily lives. Rehab-Compass showed that, at 4 months after transient ischaemic attack, the most common condition affected was mood (reported by 89% of participants), followed by bladder function (70%), sexual life (52%), strength (51%) and fatigue (26%). Symptoms of depression and anxiety were reported by 6% and 17% of participants, respectively.
Conclusion: This pilot study indicates that Rehab-Compass might be a suitable simple screening tool for use in the outpatient clinic setting to identify the multidimensional rehabilitation needs of individuals after transient ischaemic attack.

Lay Abstract

The common definition of transient ischaemic attack is a short duration of stroke, which is symptom-free 24 h after onset. However, many clinical cases do not match this description. This pilot study used Rehab-Compass, a new follow-up instrument based on patient-reported outcome measures questionnaires with graphic illustrations, to evalutate complex problems among 47 patients 4 months after onset of transient ischaemic attack. The results showed that most participants were independent in activities of daily living, with a relatively good quality of life. However, at 4-month follow-up one-quarter of participants reported limitations of participation in daily life, with various hidden symptoms, such as fatigue, sexual life, bladder function, strength and anxiety. Since the Rehab-Compass questionnaire can be completed at home prior to an outpatient visit, it is a simpe tool for clinicians to gain a overview of complex problems in patients after transient ischaemic attack


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