The COMPlaints After Stroke (COMPAS) study: Protocol for a Dutch cohort study on poststroke subjective cognitive complaints

M.W.A. van Rijsbergen, R.E. Mark, P.L.M. Kort, M.M. Sitskoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Although many studies have assessed poststroke objective cognitive impairment, only a few have evaluated patients’ subjective cognitive complaints (SCC). Although these SCC are found to be common in the early and chronic phases after stroke, knowledge about their risk factors, course over time, differences with healthy controls and their diagnostic relevance is limited. The aim of the COMPlaints After Stroke (COMPAS) study is therefore to determine the possible risk factors, prognosis, time course and predictive value of SCC in the first 2 years after stroke.
Methods and design
A prospective cohort study is conducted in which patients are compared to non-stroke controls at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after stroke. Approximately 300 patients are recruited from the stroke units of three hospitals in the Netherlands, while 300 controls are sought among the relatives (spouses excluded) and social networks of participants. A wide range of subjective and objective variables is assessed in both groups using interviews, questionnaires and neuropsychological assessment. The primary outcomes include SCC and objective cognitive impairment, whereas secondary outcomes are quality of life, subjective recovery and daily life functioning.
Ethics and dissemination
The study is being carried out in agreement with the Declaration of Helsinki and the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act. The protocol has been approved by the medical ethics committees of the participating centres and all participants give written informed consent. The results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and disseminated to the medical society and general public.
The COMPAS study is the first to systematically evaluate poststroke SCC in a prospective longitudinal design, taking a wide range of subjective and objective variables into account. The results obtained can be used to accurately inform patients and their families, as well as to develop patient-tailored intervention programmes to ultimately improve stroke patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e003599
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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