Longitudinal dyadic data analysis of stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers
Approximately 795,000 new and recurrent strokes occur each year. Because of the resulting functional impairment, stroke survivors are often discharged into the care of a family caregiver, most often their spouse. This dissertation explored the effect that mutuality, a measure of the perceived positive aspects of the caregiving relationship, had on the stress and depression of 159 stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers over the first 12 months post discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Specifically, cross-lagged regression was utilized to investigate the dyadic, longitudinal relationship between caregiver and stroke survivor mutuality and caregiver and stroke survivor stress over time. Longitudinal meditational analysis was employed to examine the mediating effect of mutuality on the dyads’ perception of family function and caregiver and stroke survivor depression over time. Caregivers’ mutuality was found to be associated with their own stress over time but not the stress of the stroke survivor. Caregivers who had higher mutuality scores over the 12 months of the study had lower perceived stress. Additionally, a partner effect of stress for the stroke survivor but not the caregiver was found, indicating that stroke survivors’ stress over time was associated with caregivers’ stress but caregivers’ stress over time was not significantly associated with the stress of the stroke survivor. This dissertation did not find mutuality to mediate the relationship between caregivers’ and stroke survivors’ perception of family function at baseline and their own or their partners’ depression at 12 months as hypothesized. However, caregivers who perceived healthier family functioning at baseline and stroke survivors who had higher perceived mutuality at 12 months had lower depression at one year post discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Additionally, caregiver mutuality at 6 months, but not at baseline or 12 months, was found to be inversely related to caregiver depression at 12 months. These findings highlight the interpersonal nature of stress in the context of caregiving, especially among spousal relationships. Thus, health professionals should encourage caregivers and stroke survivors to focus on the positive aspects of the caregiving relationship in order to mitigate stress and depression.
Behavioral psychology|Clinical psychology
Godwin, Kyler M, "Longitudinal dyadic data analysis of stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3464797.