Physical function, psychosocial adaptation, and hardiness post stroke

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Hartigan, Irene
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University College Cork
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Introduction: Stroke is a chronic condition that significantly impacts on morbidity and mortality (Balanda et al. 2010). Globally, the complexity of stroke is well documented and more recently, in Ireland, as part of the National Survey of Stroke Survivors (Horgan et al. 2014). There are a number of factors that are known to influence adaptation post stroke. However, there is a lack of research to explain the variability in how survivors adapt post stroke. Hardiness is a broad personality trait that leads to better outcome. This study investigated the influence of hardiness and physical function on psychosocial adaptation post stroke. Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional, correlational, exploratory study was conducted between April and November 2013. The sample consisted of stroke survivors (n=100) who were recruited from three hospital outpatient departments and completed a questionnaire package. Results: The mean age of participants was 76 years (range 70-80), over half (56%) of the participants achieved the maximum score of 20 on the Barthel Index indicating independence in activities of daily living. The median number of days since stroke onset was 91 days (range 74-128). The total mean score and standard deviation for hardiness was 1.89 (0.4) as measured by the Dispositional Resilience Scale, indicating medium hardiness (possible range 0-3). Psychosocial adaptation was measured using the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale, the total weighted mean and standard deviation was 0.54 (0.3) indicating a satisfactory level of psychosocial adaptation (possible range 0-3). A hierarchical multiple linear regression was performed which contained 6 independent variables (hardiness, living arrangement, and length of hospital stay, number of days since stroke onset, physical function and self-rated recovery). Findings demonstrated that physical function (p<0.001) and hardiness (p=0.008) were significantly related to psychosocial adaptation. Altogether, 65% of the variation in psychosocial adaptation can be explained by the combined effect of the independent variables. Physical functioning had the highest unique contribution (11%) to explain the variance in psychosocial adaptation while self-rated recovery, hardiness, and living arrangements contributed 3% each. Conclusion: This research provides important information regarding factors that influence psychosocial adaptation post stroke at 3 months. Physical function significantly contributed to psychosocial adaptation post stroke. The personality trait of hardiness provides insight into how behaviour influenced adaptation post stroke. While hardiness also had a strong relationship with psychosocial adaptation, further research is necessary to fully comprehend this process.
Stroke , Hardiness , Recovery , Physical function
Hartigan, I. 2015. Physical function, psychosocial adaptation, and hardiness post stroke. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.