BACKGROUND: Community participation is an indicator of recovery for younger adults after stroke who generally have a greater need to return to society than do older adults. However, little is known about the trends of participation and their determinants in this population.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the trends of community participation by younger (<65 years) adults with stroke in Taiwan after their hospital discharge and to identify predictors of these trends.
METHODS: This longitudinal, multicenter, prospective cohort study enrolled 570 relatively young adults (aged 20-65 years) with stroke. Participants were assessed at hospital discharge and at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure was the Participation Measure-3 Domains, 4 Dimensions (PM-3D4D). Sociodemographic and stroke-related variables were derived by using standardized instruments and questionnaires. Mixed models were used to derive the trends of each participation domain and to identify predictors.
RESULTS: PM-3D4D score changes showed a positive trend from discharge to 1-year follow-up (particularly in social and community subscales); however, the improvement was mild and mainly occurred in the first 3 months. Sociodemographic factors, such as income and education levels, and stroke-related variables, such as stroke severity, comorbidity, and physical function, significantly predicted changes in PM-3D4D scores over time. Physical function demonstrated the strongest prediction ability for all participation domains and dimensions.
CONCLUSION: Multiple sociodemographic and stroke-related variables, particularly physical function, predicted improvement in community participation by younger adults after stroke. These findings may help clinicians identify younger adults at risk of unfavorable long-term participation outcomes after stroke.