Early predictors of psychosocial functioning 5 years after paediatric stroke.


Aim: Little is known about psychological and social outcomes after paediatric stroke. This study aimed to evaluate psychosocial outcomes in children 5 years after paediatric stroke and explore the contribution of early presenting factors. Method: Thirty-one children (19 males, 12 females) with arterial ischemic stroke were involved in this prospective, longitudinal study. Children underwent intellectual assessment at 12 months poststroke and parents completed questionnaires rating their own mental health and their child’s functioning at 12 months and 5 years poststroke. Results: At 5-year follow-up, psychological and social function were significantly poorer than normative expectations. Exploration of early predictive factors showed poorer cognitive and psychological function at 12 months poststroke and older age at stroke onset was associated with poorer psychosocial function at 5 years. Larger lesion size was also associated with poorer psychological function at 5 years poststroke. Interpretation: These early predictors of poorer psychosocial outcome suggest that screening children within the first year after stroke may identify children most at risk of later problems and facilitate early intervention.