Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When couples disagree on stroke recovery, one partner can suffer

Date:
June 23, 2014
Source:
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Summary:
When a stroke survivor and his/her caregiving spouse disagree on the survivor's rate of recovery, the caregiver is more likely to experience depression and emotional distress. Researchers found that the magnitude of the discrepancy in spousal perception is key to predicting depression in caregivers. They add that the magnitude of the discrepancy in perceptions between survivors and spousal caregivers is key to predicting depression in spousal caregivers -- which can then cycle back onto the survivors.

An innovative study from a University of Cincinnati (UC) social work researcher has found that when a stroke survivor and his or her caregiving spouse disagree on the survivor's rate of recovery, the caregiving spouse is more likely to experience depression and emotional distress.

Assistant Professor Michael McCarthy, PhD, working with co-author Karen Lyons at the Oregon Health and Science University, interviewed 35 couples in which one spouse had experienced a stroke within the past three years.

In separate sessions, stroke survivors and their spouses discussed the survivor's recovery, including the performance of daily functions, their memory and ability to problem solve. In the first mixed-method study in the topic, both quantitative and qualitative data showed that spouses rated rehabilitation progress as significantly worse than survivors -- and that this discrepancy was associated with spouse depression.

"We found that spouses rated their partners' recovery worse than survivors rated it themselves, and that this discrepancy predicted depressive symptoms in the spouses," says McCarthy.

"So if the wife has a stroke," he continues, "and she believes, for example, that she can still drive but her husband doesn't -- the difference in their perception is predictive of the husband's emotional distress. We were able to quantify and capture a different kind of worry and stress that caregiving spouses can experience and connect it to their outcomes."

He adds that the magnitude of the discrepancy in perceptions between survivors and spousal caregivers is key to predicting depression in spousal caregivers -- which can then cycle back onto the survivors.

McCarthy says there is some evidence that wives may be particularly susceptive to caregiver worry, as are spouses in strong, fulfilling relationships. With studies demonstrating that stroke caregivers have higher rates of depression than the general public and may be at higher risk for stroke themselves as well as premature death, caregiver mental health has profound consequences.

McCarthy hopes the study can help social work and other rehabilitation practitioners working with stroke survivors. Overall, he says health care needs to broaden the conversation around stroke recovery: from focusing solely on the patient to considering the patient-spouse couple as a unit.

"How the spouse is doing matters in the equation," he says. "They need as much care, if not more in some ways, as the patient. We need to bring partners together in the rehabilitation process, to align each person's expectations and perceptions in order to achieve the best outcomes."

His paper, "Incongruence between stroke survivor and spouse perceptions of survivor functioning and effects on spouse emotional health," has been published online in the journal Aging & Mental Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael J. McCarthy, Karen S. Lyons. Incongruence between stroke survivor and spouse perceptions of survivor functioning and effects on spouse mental health: a mixed-methods pilot study. Aging & Mental Health, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2014.913551

Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. "When couples disagree on stroke recovery, one partner can suffer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623120416.htm>.
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. (2014, June 23). When couples disagree on stroke recovery, one partner can suffer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623120416.htm
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. "When couples disagree on stroke recovery, one partner can suffer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623120416.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins