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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 Jul;81(7):881-7.

First-stroke recovery process: the role of family social support.

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1
Department of Clinical Therapeutics, University of Athens School of Medicine, Alexandra Hospital, Greece.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the role of family social support in three stroke rehabilitation variables (functional status, depression, social status) during a 6-month recovery period.

DESIGN:

Assessment of first-stroke patients' functional status, depression, and social status before discharge and at 1, 3, and 6 months after stroke onset, in comparison with the amount of family social support received. The family social support scale--compliance, instrumental, and emotional support--was employed in the first month.

SETTING:

A university hospital and patients' residences.

PATIENTS:

A consecutive sample of 43 first-stroke patients meeting the inclusion criteria.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes of patients' rehabilitation variables over the 6-month period were tested by use of repeated multivariate analysis of variance measures.

RESULTS:

Observers of functional, depression, and social status changes were blind to patient grouping according to levels of family support. These three variables were significantly affected by higher levels of support (p = .001, p = .001, p = .020, respectively), but a significant interaction was found only with regard to functional status adjusted for initial stroke severity (p = .019). Patients with moderate/severe stroke and high levels of social support attained a significantly better and progressively improving functional status than those with less support.

CONCLUSIONS:

High levels of family support--instrumental and emotional--are associated with progressive improvement of functional status, mainly in severely impaired patients, while the psychosocial status is also affected.

PMID:
10895999
DOI:
10.1053/apmr.2000.4435
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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