The Post Stroke Journey: A Survey Study of the Effects of Family Support and Psychological Factors on Rehabilitation Goals
Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in America and a leading cause of long-term adult disability, affecting more than 795,000 people a year ("American Stroke Association: A Division of the American Heart Association"). Many of these individuals experience persistent difficulty with the execution of daily tasks as a direct consequence of a stroke. A key factor in the successful recovery of a stroke survivor is rehabilitation. Rehabilitation sessions can start within two days of the stroke if the patient is in stable condition, and often continues long after their release from the hospital ("American Stroke Association: A Division of the American Heart Association"). The rehabilitation sessions are driven by a team of rehabilitation care professionals which includes, but is not limited to a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and speech-language pathologist. These professionals are available to the stroke survivor as resources to assist in developing and organizing ways to achieve independence as opposed to dependence. Ultimately, a stroke survivor’s family typically provides the most important long-term support during recovery and rehabilitation ("American Stroke Association: A Division of the American Heart Association"). However, there is very little research that focuses on the impact that local family can have on the stroke survivor’s establishment and achievement of goals throughout their recovery and rehabilitation. This study examines this gap in knowledge.