Many persons with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from a ruptured intracranial aneurysm recover to functional independence but nevertheless experience reduced quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to summarize the evidence on determinants of reduced QoL in this diagnostic group. Databases PubMed, PsychINFO, and CINAHL were used to identify empirical studies reporting on quantitative relationships between possible determinants and QoL in persons with aneurysmal SAH and published in English. Determinants were classified using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria for this review, in which 13 different HRQoL questionnaires were used. Determinants related to Body Structure & Function (clinical condition at admission, fatigue, and disturbed mood), Activity limitations (physical disability and cognitive complaints), and Personal factors (female gender, higher age, neuroticism, and passive coping) are consistently related to worse HRQoL after aneurysmal SAH. Treatment characteristics were not consistently related to HRQoL. This study identified a broad range of determinants of HRQoL after aneurysmal SAH. The findings provide clues to tailor multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs. Further research is needed on participation, psychological characteristics, and environmental factors as determinants of HRQoL after SAH.
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