Stroke Patient Adjustment

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Stroke is a deliberate and life-threatening chronic health condition which may lead to death but those who survive this severe chronic illness are generally lumbered with a series of health issues. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). These health issues are identified as hemiplegia, cognitive impairment and speech malfunction which can be improved and treated at rehabilitation centres. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). Not only will the stroke patients depict physical health conditions, but they will be left with psychosocial and psychological issues. Such as lacking self-restraint, thanatophobia, malformation and loneliness. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). It is stated that depression and explosiveness can be prevalent to these stroke patients but also their immediate family, friends and relatives who are now responsible with supporting a disabled individual. This can cause pressure on the care takers, mentally, emotionally and also financially. The capacity to survive and manage can lead to significant insinuation for the “quality of life” in the upcoming years consequent to the stroke. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). Unexpectedly, some researches have demonstrated characteristics that foresee adjustment managing with the dilemmas that was brought up by stroke and its consequences that they have on the rehabilitation. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). There was not a comprehensive result on the social support groups, however, some studies evaluated that patients who attended and were a part of social support groups, have made adapting and adjusting to their new environment and condition slightly smoother. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). It was briefly outlined that if the patient does not have a positive relationship with their caregiver, and the caregiver is remarkably negative towards the patient, the circumstances become worse and the stroke patient will be more depressed. 

Stroke patients who are in more severe condition due to different reasons like being more debilitated or been affected many times or longer by stroke are more likely to have severe depression compared to other stroke patients. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). However, this can be turned around based on the relationship the stroke patient has with their caregiver, for example, a stroke patient in rehab heavily relies and interprets their circumstances based on how he or she elucidates the relationship with their caregiver. It is observed that the severity of the stroke, does not play a significant role in the severity of depression in stoke patients, but the levels of depression of the patient themselves and their surroundings have a big impact on the improvement of their chronic health condition. The less motivated the patients are, the slower the improvement and the less progress, the more depressed the stroke patient will become. (Thompson, Sobolew-Shubin, Graham & Janigian, 1989). Gillespie and Campbell (2011) have stated that 50% of “stroke survivors” need aid and support from family and friends to be able to attempt essential wishes, this can lead to lengthy time of care taking causing weariness and lassitude. (Gillespie & Campbell, 2011). 

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Additionally, the family of the stroke patients are not always given enough information and this discrepancy in information can cause distress and pressure and it was found that “…57% of individuals were dissatisfied with the information they had been given about their role as a carer.” (Gillespie & Campbell, 2011). The literature identified many interpretations of poor practical rehabilitation including, age, related co-diagnosis, harshness of stroke, impairment, cognitive failure, post stroke depression (PSD) and lack of social support group and social involvement. (Gillespie & Campbell, 2011). The percentage of fully self-sufficient stroke patients following the stroke falls annually and is unbiased of age, harshness of stroke and other predictors of full deterioration. Stroke results have not considered impaired psychosocial functioning after stroke, many medical professionals have overlooked that even a self-sufficient stroke patient can encounter difficulties running simple everyday errands in a variety of health-related quality of life dimensions such as emotive involvement, work or sexual functions. (Gillespie & Campbell, 2011). Furthermore, depressive levels, “self-esteem” and perceived power and control have been established as perhaps the most reliable factors of health-related quality of life for socioeconomic and medical characteristics. (Teoh, Sims & Milgrom, 2009). 

Nevertheless, it might be that certain patients who are more self-satisfied and feel that they have greater influence of their own healing cycle have higher health-related quality of life. They are much more driven and involved in therapy services and support groups and therefore play a more integral part in their very own healing and recovery process of their chronic health condition, which is stroke. (Teoh, Sims & Milgrom, 2009)

In conclusion, Sharpe and Curran’s theory discussed three models which are the Health Belief Model (HBM), Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and Self-Reflection Model (SRM) that are important in anticipating patient’s psychosocial adjustment and adaptation to their chronic health conditions. Stroke is a serious chronic health issue potentially life threatening to all patients. Based on the findings of Sharpe and Curran’s theory/model medical professionals have gained a deeper understanding of patient experiences with chronic health illnesses. Severity of stroke does not completely affect adaptation and adjustment of the patient, when a patient does not progress to a positive outcome it may lead to depressive events and vice versa. These articles have shed light on patient’s adjustment and adaptation after being diagnosed with stroke, as well as their experiences, their family’s adaptation to becoming lifelong caregivers also plays a role in the adjustment of stroke patients. It is vital for the stroke patients and families to have long-term, consistent support and encouragement from the medical professionals in their journey towards recovering.    


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