Objective: To examine the satisfaction of spouses of stroke patients with the support given to them during clinical rehabilitation and to explore the relationships between satisfaction and characteristics of the support received.
Methods: Spouses of patients with a first-ever supratentorial stroke were included (n = 194). Satisfaction was measured on a 0–10 scale. Bivariate and multivariate relationships were studied between overall satisfaction score and characteristics of the support provided (number of full days of attendance, participation in caregiver group, discipline providing most support), the spouses (age, gender, family situation, education and employment) and the patients (activity of daily living (ADL) dependency (Functional Independence Measure), length of stay).
Results: The median satisfaction score was 7, and 44% of all spouses scored ≥8 (very satisfied) but 23% were dissatisfied. Spouses’ and patients’ characteristics and satisfaction scores were not associated. Of the support characteristics the number of full days of attendance (p = 0.02), participation in a caregiver group (p = 0.006) and support received from a team member (p = 0.000) were related to satisfaction. No differences in spouses’ satisfaction scores were found between the participating rehabilitation centres. Only 39% of the spouses participated in a caregiver group. The most important reason for not participating in such a group was not being aware of the opportunity to take part in a group (49%). Spouses participating in a group showed more depressive symptoms and had a more severely disabled partner. Caregiver support was primarily given by the nurse and the social worker. One in five spouses indicated not to have been supported at all by the rehabilitation team.
Conclusion: A large proportion of the caregivers were satisfied with the care they had received, although one in four was dissatisfied. Satisfaction was related to support characteristics.