We sought to (1) describe psychological, physical, and cognitive functions in patients 10 years after intracranial aneurysm rupture and (2) identify any differences in outcome variables between age groups, gender or aneurysm locations.
A consecutive sample of patients (n=217) treated for intracranial aneurysm rupture at a neurosurgical clinic in Stockholm, Sweden, were followed-up in a cross-sectional design 10.1 years after the onset with questionnaires and telephone interviews. The outcome measures were psychological functions in terms of symptoms of anxiety or depression and physical and cognitive functions.
Compared with the reference groups, the aneurysm patients scored greater levels of anxiety and depression than normal values. Patients with aneurysm rupture in the posterior circulation scored significantly more problems with anxiety and depression. Only 2.8% of the patients scored for severe physical disability. On a group level, cognition was lower than normal population levels; 21.7% of respondents scored below the cut-off value, indicating cognitive impairments.
Ten years after aneurysm rupture the majority of patients seem to be well-functioning physically, whereas the psychological and cognitive functions are affected. A screening of the mental health of these patients in connection to radiological follow-up might be helpful to identify which patients need further referral to psychiatric treatment for anxiety and depression disorders.
Comment In: World Neurosurg. 2013 Jan;79(1):60-122743199