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Spouses of first-ever stroke patients: psychological well-being in the first phase after stroke

Journal article
Authors Gunilla Forsberg-Wärleby
Anders Möller
Christian Blomstrand
Published in Stroke
Volume 32
Issue 7
Pages 1646-51
ISSN 1524-4628 (Electronic)
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Pages 1646-51
Language en
Keywords Acute Disease, Adaptation, Psychological, Adult, Aged, Caregivers/*psychology, Cerebrovascular Accident/*psychology, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Quality of Life, Spouses/psychology
Subject categories Neurology, Public health medicine research areas, Occupational Therapy, Applied Psychology, Family research, Disability research


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A stroke affects not only the patient but also the spouse. To better support the spouse during the acute phase of stroke, knowledge is needed about his or her experience with the situation. The aim of the present study was to study the well-being of the spouses of stroke patients during the acute state of stroke and to identify factors that may influence their well-being. METHODS: Eighty-three consecutively enrolled spouses of first-ever stroke patients <75 years old participated. Their psychological well-being, measured by the Psychological General Well-Being Index 10 days after the stroke, was compared with norm values. Multiple analyses of correlation were performed to investigate the effects on psychological well-being of (1) age and sex, (2) level of impairment of the stroke patient, and (3) intrapersonal variables such as previous life satisfaction and view of the future. RESULTS: The study group showed significantly lower psychological well-being compared with norm values except for the dimension of general health. The variables that correlated significantly with the Psychological General Well-Being total score were the sensorimotor impairment of the stroke patient and the "view of the future." This view of the future also correlated significantly with the level of functional ability of the stroke patients. CONCLUSIONS: During the acute phase of stroke, the severity of the stroke has an impact on the spouse's image of his or her future life, whereas the individual appraisal of personal consequences and of his or her own coping capacity seems to have a greater impact on the psychological well-being of the spouses than does the objective state of disability.

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