The assessment of outcomes in individuals after stroke is important for both clinical practice and research, yet there is no consensus on the best measures of stroke outcome. Existing measures have not been sensitive to change in mild strokes and some of the more commonly used measures assess only the physical aspects of stroke. A new stroke-specific outcome measure, the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS), has been developed which assesses other dimensions of health related quality of life: emotion, communication, memory and thinking, and social role function.
The Stroke Impact Scale was developed at the University of Kansas Medical Center, based on feedback from patients and their caregivers. It measures the aspects of stroke recovery which were found to be important to patients and caregivers as well as stroke experts. After intensive psychometric testing the 59 item Stroke Impact Scale Version 3.0 was developed. The 59 questions of the SIS are broken down into eight domains:
The first four of these domains may be combined into one physical domain, but the others must be scored separately. In this way, change may be more clearly tracked based on the patient’s particular set of symptoms. Recently, the SIS-16 (a 16-item physical dimension instrument) was developed as a brief, stand alone tool for measuring the physical aspects of stroke recovery. Both the SIS v3.0 and SIS-16 are available in proxy version when patients are unable to answer. Hard copy instruments, as well as Access databases that perform domain scoring, are available for both the SIS v3.0 and SIS-16.
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