Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Experience in Coping with Stroke: A Survey of Caregivers

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Experience in Coping with Stroke: A Survey of Caregivers

Article excerpt

The present study examined a hypothesized model between the amount of information given to families of stroke victims and their ability to cope with the situation after discharge from the hospital. A survey instrument, 'Experience in Coping with Stroke," was developed and mailed to a time-bounded sample of 166 stroke families to ascertain the relationship between family adjustment/coping ability and information given during hospitalization as well as to explore the informational needs of family members. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed no significant correlation between family adjustment/coping ability as measured by the survey instrument and the amount of information given during hospitalization. The subjects (caregivers) and the stroke patients were discussed according to their socio-demographic dimensions. Serendipitous findings of the study included: 1) certain modal coping and information responses to the caregivers, (2) response patterns of subgroups of caregivers, and (3) a content analysis of the open-ended question on the questionnaire. Discussion of the findings of this study suggested that a heuristic model for examining coping ability of stroke caregivers has been identified as well as the need for further research in this area.

Families often lack consistent, comprehensive information to enable them to effectively cope with the family member recovering from a stroke after discharge from the hospital. The degree to which the family adapts can significantly affect the outcome. Studies of this nature are of increasing importance to all health care professionals as they face the graying of America with maturation of the baby boomers of the World War Il generation, and the concomitant increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular accident.

A family's ability to cope with a chronic disease can be an important factor in adaptation and rehabilitation. Power (1985) examined the family coping behaviors in multiple sclerosis and recommended that "What the family understands about the illness should be assessed early in the intervention for the imparting of appropriate information can become a useful coping mechanism for family members" (p. 82). But can this recommendation apply to stroke families, what kind of information is needed, and when is the most appropriate time to begin this process of family education? The relationship of family coping ability and the amount of information imparted to the family during hospitalization has not been investigated, nor has a comprehensive assessment of the needs of family members been conducted to determine the information needed to enhance the family's coping abilities.

The merit of family education about stroke residuals has been discussed but the delivery system was often inconsistently administered to patients and their families (Singler, 1975; McCormick and Williams, 1979; Crossman, et al. 1981). The merit of family education to stroke families in residential treatment programs has been well-documented as well (Strand, et al., 1985; Evans and Held, 1984; Dunn, et al., 1984; Tuckett and Williams, 1984; Jackson, 1984; Sahs and Hartman, 1976).

Other researchers have chronicled psychosocial difficulties which were experienced by persons with aphasia and their families (Biorn-Hansen, 1957; Malone, 1969). Families of persons with aphasia have been generally considered an integral part of the rehabilitation team because it was recognized that it was the family who had the greatest effect on the patient's motivation and attitude and who assumed the burden for long term care (Wepman, 1951). Malone (1969) observed, "The family cannot function as positive members of the rehabilitation team until they have been educated to the many and varied problems associated with aphasia and given some help in coping with these problems" (p. 151). While family education has been recommended, Linebough and Young-Charles (1978) conducted the only study to date that examined the informational needs of the families of aphasic patients. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.