Research Article| Volume 3, ISSUE 4, P209-215, 1993

Coping and life satisfaction after stroke

  • Gale Robinson-Smith
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. G. Robinson-Smith at St. Peter's College, 2641 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07306, U.S.A.
    From the College of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, U.S.A.
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      This study examined the coping strategies and life satisfaction of 73 elderly couples at 6–12 months after a cerebrovascular accident. Instruments included the Life Satisfaction Index A, the Ways of Coping Scale, and the Gulick Activity of Daily Living Scale. A series of mixed model analyses of variance were performed. A single significant main effect was obtained for the variable, Seeking Social Support. Stroke survivors were less likely to use Seeking Social Support coping strategies than were their spouses. Correlations indicated that survivors manifested more positive affect when (a) they did not use Accepting Responsibility coping strategies; (b) they did not use Escape-Avoidance coping strategies; (c) their spouse did not use Escape-Avoidance; and (d) their spouses used fewer Planful Problem Solving coping strategies. Survivors were more likely to express satisfaction with past actions to the extent that (a) the survivor's spouse did not use Confrontive Coping strategies and (b) the survivor's spouse did not indicate using Planful Problem Solving coping strategies. The spouse's affect was positive to the extent that he or she did not use Escape-Avoidance coping strategies. More positive affect in stroke survivors was noted when their functional skills allowed them to do more independent activities of daily living. These relationships remained constant regardless of the functional skill of the survivor. The study supports the idea that groups with a psychoeducational component would provide useful social support and coping alternatives. Continued rehabilitation efforts to improve daily living skills are recommended.

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