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How Can We Tell Who Is Aware? Where Does the Veracity Lie?

Journal article
Authors Ann Björkdahl
Åsa Lundgren Nilsson
Katharina S Sunnerhagen
Published in Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases : the official journal of National Stroke Association
Volume 21
Issue 8
Pages 812–818
ISSN 1532-8511
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Pages 812–818
Language en
Subject categories Neurology, Occupational Therapy


BACKGROUND: The first aim of this study was to compare the subjective experiences of social, cognitive, and emotional problems of the patient and his/her next of kin, and explore if this related to cognitive testing. The second aim was to explore how these results reflect the patient's awareness. METHODS: This is a subanalysis from a longitudinal study in the first year after discharge with comparisons of patient and next of kin scores on the European Brain Injury Questionnaire (EBIQ) and analyses of the relationship of their scores to an objective cognitive screening on 3 occasions. A paired t test was used to explore differences between 35 stroke patients and their next of kin on the EBIQ. Gamma analyses were made to explore the relationship between the EBIQ scores and the Barrow Neurological Institute Screening (BNIS) of higher cognitive functions, with the entire sample grouped into aware and unaware according to the BNIS item of awareness. RESULTS: We found significant differences between the patient and next of kin assessments on all occasions, apart from at discharge. When grouped, only the group of aware patients differed significantly from their next of kin. Significant relations of the patient ratings on the EBIQ and BNIS were only found at the 1-year follow-up for the unaware group and the entire sample. Next of kin EBIQ scores did not correlate with the BNIS. CONCLUSIONS: Neither next of kin ratings nor an objective measurement was feasible to use for evaluation of the patient's awareness of social, cognitive, and emotional problems.

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