City Research Online

Visual analogue scales in stroke: what can they tell us about health-related quality of life?

Hilari, K. & Boreham, L. D. (2013). Visual analogue scales in stroke: what can they tell us about health-related quality of life?. BMJ Open, 3(9), article number e003309. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003309


Objectives: Contrasting accounts exist on whether people with stroke are able to self-report on outcomes using visual analogue scales (VASs). We explored correlations between multi-item scale-rated health-related quality of life (HRQL) and VAS-rated HRQL after stroke, and compared those with versus without aphasia.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: Community dwelling stroke patients living in London.

Participants: People with first stroke were recruited during their hospital stay and were assessed 3 months later.

Measures: The Frenchay Aphasia Screening Test, the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale (SAQOL-39g) and a single vertical VAS.

Results: 73 people took part, 14 with aphasia. VAS scores were significantly correlated with the overall SAQOL-39g (r=0.69, p<0.01). SAQOL-39g subdomain scores were also correlated with VAS scores, with the psychosocial domain most highly correlated (r=0.67, p<0.01) and the communication least correlated (ρ=0.30, p<0.05). SAQOL-39g—VAS difference scores were higher for people with aphasia and the difference was significant (t (71)=2.02, p<0.05).

Conclusions: Despite the significant correlation of the overall SAQOL-39g and the VAS-rated HRQL, subdomain results suggested that people considered mostly psychosocial aspects when rating their HRQL on a single VAS. Agreement was poorer for people with aphasia, raising issues for the use of VASs with people with aphasia.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Aphasia, Outcomes Research, Quality of Life, Visual Analogue Scales
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
Official URL:


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login