In the present study, to develop QOL measurement scales, factors affecting QOL of post-stroke patients were identified. Caregivers who participated in the present study reported that they felt psychological burden when their care-receivers showed a negative mood or emotional dependence on them, rather than physical burden through giving care. In comparison with other ordinary community dwellers who are not engaged in care-taking, caregivers for post-stroke patients showed more depressive symptoms. It was also indicated that those caregivers who are very independent in controlling their own lives and confident in their ability to solve problems felt less burden and showed less depressive symptoms. Meanwhile, aftereffects of stroke are considered as possible factors that negatively affect QOL of post-stroke patients. In the early stage of stroke, patients have complained of difficulties in sleeping, loss of physical strength and lost appetite. Thereafter, they have complained of feelings
of uselessness, boredom, helplessness and isolation from society. Also, nearly 70 percent of post-stroke patients in the present study complain about feelings of uncertainty, irritation and sadness. In addition, more than a half of post-stroke patients complain of pain and numbness. It was discovered that the stronger they felt pain and numbness, the stronger they showed depressive symptoms.
With the above, for the improvement of QOL of post-stroke patients and their caregivers, it is recommended to consider the inclusion of the following aspects into support programs for post-stroke patients and their family caregivers : 1.an effective and psycho-educational intervention to mitigate burden and depressive symptoms among caregivers ; and, 2.diagnosis and treatment for pain and depressive symptoms among post-stroke patients.
As the present study was conducted with a limited number of samples, it is very important to continue the study. It is also needed to develop QOL measurement scales on the basis of factors relating to QOL identified through the present study, for the future task. Less