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Prevalence, Trajectory, and Predictors of Poststroke Fatigue among Ghanaians

      Abstract

      Background and Purpose

      Poststroke fatigue (PSF) is rife among stroke survivors and it exerts a detrimental toll on recovery from functional deficits. The burden of PSF is unknown in sub-Saharan Africa. We have assessed the prevalence, trajectory, and predictors of PSF among 60 recent Ghanaian stroke patients.

      Methods

      Study participants in this prospective cohort (recruited between January 2017 and June 2017) were stroke survivors, aged greater than 18 years, with CT scan confirmed stroke of less than 1-month onset. PSF was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) at enrollment, months 3, 6, and 9. Those with a score of greater than or equal to 4 points on FSS were categorized as “fatigued.” A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of PSF at enrollment and at month 9.

      Results

      Sixty-five percent (65%) of our sample were males with a mean age of 55.1 ± 12.7 years. In addition to all participants having hypertension, 85% had dyslipidemia and 25% had diabetes mellitus. Ischemic strokes comprised 76.6% of the study population. The prevalence of PSF was 58.9% at baseline and declined to 23.6% at month 9, P = .0002. Diabetes mellitus was significantly associated with PSF at baseline with an adjusted odds ratio of 15.12 (95% CI: 1.70-134.30), P = .01. However, at month 9, age greater than or equal to 65 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 7.02 (95% CI: 1.16-42.52); female sex, aOR of 8.52 (1.23-59.16), and depression, aOR of 8.86 (1.19-65.88) were independently associated with PSF.

      Conclusions

      Approximately 6 out of 10 Ghanaian stroke survivors experience PSF within the first month of stroke onset. PSF persists in approximately 1 out of 4 stroke survivors at 10 months after the index stroke. Further studies to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for PSF are required and adequately powered interventional multicenter trials are eagerly awaited to provide solid evidence base for the clinical management of PSF.

      Key Words

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