How is carer strain related to the recovery of stroke survivors with right hemisphere dysfunction? Implications for practice

Journal article


Stein, M. and Reynolds, F. A. 2020. How is carer strain related to the recovery of stroke survivors with right hemisphere dysfunction? Implications for practice. Disability and Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2020.1775311
AuthorsStein, M. and Reynolds, F. A.
Abstract

Aim: Right hemisphere strokes are associated with neuro-behavioural impairments including hemi-inattention, impulsiveness and anosognosia, which can impede stroke recovery and adversely affect carer health. This study explored the impact of associated impairments on carer strain and depression through a mixed methods approach.
Method: Fifty-one carer-survivor dyads were recruited from inpatient rehabilitation units and followed-up for six months. Validated measures assessed survivors’ physical and cognitive function and carers’ strain and depression levels. Survey methods captured qualitative experiences of the caring role. Data collection occurred at baseline, discharge, six weeks post-discharge and six months. Multilevel-modelling and thematic data analysis, were employed.

Results: Carer strain median scores were within normal ranges of the Caregiver Strain Index scale. Carer strain was positively linked to carer depression, number of carers’ concerns reported and survivors’ anosognosia levels. Carer strain was negatively linked to the survivors’ functional and cognitive abilities. Carers’ experiences differed qualitatively with caring concerns increasing over time.

Conclusion: Carer strain worsens with increases in significant concerns about the rehabilitation process and poor survivor functioning skills, which potentially increase risk of depression in carers. Consequently, improving right-hemisphere stroke survivors’ recovery and nurturing the carer-survivor relationship are likely to enhance overall outcomes and caring experiences.

KeywordsStroke; Caregivers; Strain; Cognition; Depression; Empathy
Year2020
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
PublisherTaylor and Francis Group
ISSN0963-8288
1464-5165
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2020.1775311
Official URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2020.1775311
Publication process dates
Accepted25 May 2020
Deposited28 May 2020
Output statusIn press
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