Higher quality of life following stroke in Northern Norway than Denmark

Synne Garder Pedersen‘s PhD thesis compares quality of life between a Norwegian and a Danish cohort of stroke patients.


  1. A Norwegian translation of the Stroke Specific Quality of Life questionnaire is valid and reliable.
  2. Fatigue and decreased functioning impair quality of life following stroke.
  3. Patients in Northern Norway report better life quality than Danish patients one year after stroke.


Thesis: Perceived quality of life and functioning after stroke in a region of North Norway and in a region of Central Denmark. A mixed methods study
Candidate: Synne Garder Pedersen
Time: April 23, 2020 at 12:15
Place: Online-based solution, due to the covid-19 situation
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


(1) A Norwegian version of the Stroke Specific Quality of Life questionnaire is found reliable and valid. According to the researchers, it could be used both for individual assessment of quality of life after stroke, as well as in health research.

125 stroke survivors took part in the study. They answered the 12-item questionnaire three months after stroke, and 36 of them were tested again after one year.

(2) To enrich social relations  return to work and resume valued activities seem important to recover good quality of life following stroke. Continuity in professional support is also beneficial. Fatigue and decreased function over time affect quality of life negatively. To find these results, Pedersen interviewed eleven stroke survivors in Northern Norway and a Danish region one year after stroke.

(3) Patients in Northern Norway report slightly, but significantly higher quality of life than Danish patients one year after stroke. Both cohorts reported more problems with cognitive, social and mental functioning than with physical functioning. A total of 369 first-ever stroke survivors were enrolled in the study.

The study also shows that municipality-based stroke rehabilitation is better organised in Denmark than Northern Norway. On the other hand, in-patient rehabilitation is more common in the Norwegian region.


(1) Pedersen, S. G., Heiberg, G. A., Nielsen, J. F., Friborg, O., Stabel, H. H., Anke, A., & Arntzen, C. (2018). Validity, reliability and Norwegian adaptation of the stroke-specific quality of life (SS-QOL) scaleSAGE open medicine6, 2050312117752031.

(2) Pedersen, S. G., Anke, A., Aadal, L., Pallesen, H., Moe, S., & Arntzen, C. (2019). Experiences of quality of life the first year after stroke in Denmark and Norway. A qualitative analysisInternational journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being14(1), 1659540.

(3) Pedersen, S.G., Friborg, O., Heiberg, G.A., Arntzen, C., Stabel, H.H., Thrane, G., Nielsen, J. F., & Anke, A. Stroke Specific Quality of Life one-year post-stroke in two Scandinavian country-regions with different organization of rehabilitation services. A prospective study.

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