The impact of social support on perceived well-being of stroke survivors

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The impact of social support on perceived well-being of stroke survivors

 

Author: Sit, Wing-hung Janet
Title: The impact of social support on perceived well-being of stroke survivors
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2000
Subject: Cerebrovascular disease -- Patients -- Rehabilitation.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Department: Dept. of Nursing and Health Sciences
Pages: x, 289 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1541650
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2341
Abstract: Purposes: To develop the therapeutic nature of nursing in stroke rehabilitation, professional nurses need to consider recovery indicators in a more holistic appraoch. This study aimed to capture a health-oriented picture about stroke recovery as well as to explore whether social support plays a role in a stroke survivor's perceived well-being in the first six months after a stroke. Specific objectives of the study included: (1) to explore the perceived well-being of stroke survivors (in functional perspective, emotional perspective, social aspects of living and life satisfaction) immediately after the acute phase of stroke and six months later; (2) to investigate the change of perceived well-being of stroke survivors in the first six months following a stroke; (3) to investigate the role of social support on perceived well-being of stroke survivors. Method: A six-month prospective design was adopted. Stroke survivors who met the selection criteria and had their diagnosis confirmed by medical practitioners were recruited to the study. Written informed consent was obtained prior to the data collection. The data was collected through face-to-face interview and physical assessment with two phases of data collection immediately after the acute phase of stroke and six months later. A majority of dependent variables and independent variables were measured. Open-ended questions were included to supplement information for gaining better understanding of perspectives of well-being as well as the situation-specific social support availability and utilisation. Results: 1. In regard to the perceived well-being of stroke survivors, phase one findings indicate that the majority of the stroke survivors were dependent, to some degree, on others for activities of daily living. The majority of subjects were reported to have a depressive mood and were dissatisfied with their current physical health status and self-care ability. 2. There was significant improvement in the perceived well-being six months after the stroke. The subjects reported improvement in functional status, emotional status and life satisfaction. Nonetheless, in view of the participation in social and leisure-time activities, findings from this study show that these activities after the stroke tend to be homebound. The majority of the subjects could not return to their premorbid vocational status, social and leisure-time activities. 3. In the first six months after the stroke, different types of social support were available, including emotional support, tangible support, informational support and social companionship. Findings from this study further support previous findings that social support is situation-specific and changes with the time course of stroke recovery. 4. Social companionship was found to be a common predictor to the perceived well-being of the stroke survivors in the first six months after the stroke. Other important predictive factors included tangible support, visual impairment, co-existing illness(es) and premorbid family role. Conclusion: Findings from this study support the view that stroke recovery does not merely refer to the restoration of physiological function to the maximum potential. It also includes the ability to live independently and the psychological adaptation to the stroke, as well as continuing to participate in and contribute to the society. In assessing stroke recovery, apart from the functional parameters, stroke survivors' emotional status, partivipation in social and leisure-time activities, as well as life satisfaction all need to be considered. In addition, the findings of this study further emphasise that social support in the form of social companionship as well as practical help and assistance were found to have a significant impact on the perceived well-being of the stroke survivors in the first six months after the stroke. These findings provide useful information on the therapeutic nature of nursing in stroke rehbilitation. Specifically, this includes the identification and mobilisation of support resources from the stroke survivors' natural support networks, as well as the coordination of services to supplement needed resources so as to enhance the optimal level of health and well-being of stroke survivors throughout the course of recovery

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