The Spouse's Positive Effect on the Stroke Patient's Recovery


  • Annette Carol Baker MSN RN

    Nursing Instructor, Corresponding author
      Robeson Community College, PO Box 1420, Lumberton, NC 28359.
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    • Annette Carol Baker is a nursing instructor at Robeson Community College in Lumberton, NC.

Robeson Community College, PO Box 1420, Lumberton, NC 28359.


To determine the effect of the presence of a spouse on the stroke patient's adaptation, a retrospective chart review of stroke patients who had completed rehabilitation was conducted. The convenience sample comprised 67 stroke patients of a family practice service who received rehabilitation at Pitt County Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Greenville, NC, over a 45-month period. Roy's Adaptation Model was the theoretical framework for the inquiry. The Barthel Index measured the functioning level, or adaptation, of the patients on discharge from rehabilitation. It was hypothesized that patients who had a stroke and completed a rehabilitation program would achieve a higher level of adaptation if they had a spouse than would comparable patients without a spouse. This hypothesis was supported by the findings; the average Barthel Index score on discharge was 7.5 points higher in patients who had a spouse (Wilcoxon chi-square = 4.17, p < .05). The implications for nurses are presented.