Article Title

Association between behavioral dysexecutive syndrome and the health-related quality of life among stroke survivors


Aim: Behavioral dysexecutive syndrome (BDES) is one common neuropsychiatric comorbidity after stroke. Despite evidences suggesting the adverse effect of BDES on the survivors’ outcome, little is known about the association between BDES and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among stroke survivors and how BDES impacts the HRQoL. This study aimed to address these questions.

Methods: This study included 219 patients with acute ischemic stroke consecutively admitted to a regional hospital in Hong Kong. BDES was defined as a Chinese version of the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX) score of ≥20 assessed at three months after stroke. The HRQoL was assessed with the Chinese version of the Stroke-Specific Quality of Life (SSQoL) questionnaire encompassing 12 domains. Multivariate linear regression models were employed to examine the association between BDES symptoms and the SSQoL total and domain scores. Structural equation model (SEM) was further constructed to delineate the linking pathways linking BDES and the HRQoL.

Results: The study sample compromised mainly older patients with mild to moderate ischemic stroke. Compared with patients without BDES, those with BDES exhibited poorer performances regarding with the summarized SSQoL (226.2 ± 18.8 vs. 200.3 ± 29.8, p < 0.001) and almost all domains. The BDES symptoms were independently contributed to the whole HRQoL (SSQoL total score) (β = −0.20, p = 0.002), specifically to the domains in personality (β = −0.34, p < 0.001), language (β = −0.22, p = 0.01), and work/productivity (β = −0.32, p < 0.001), after adjusting demographic and clinical characteristics in linear models. The impacts of the BDES symptoms on the HRQoL were mainly explained by the indirect path mediated by depression and anxiety (path coefficient = −0.27, p < 0.05) rather than physical disability, while the resting was elucidated by the path directly linking BDES to the HRQoL (path coefficient = −0.17, p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The present study preliminarily demonstrated a potential association between BDES and a lower level of the HRQoL, predominantly in domains of personality, language, and work/productivityafter acute ischemic stroke. This study also offered insights into the underlying mechanisms linking BDES and the HRQoL, implicating that integrative psychological therapies were urged to achieve better HRQoL after stroke.


dysexecutive syndrome, health-related quality of life, stroke, structural equation model, depression

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