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Couples' Coping After Stroke—A Pilot Intervention Study

Robinson-Smith, Gale PhD, RN1; Harmer, Catherine MPH, MSN, RN, CRRN, NEA-BC2; Sheeran, Robin BSN, CRRN3; Bellino Vallo, Eileen MSN, RN3

Rehabilitation Nursing Journal: July 2016 - Volume 41 - Issue 4 - p 218–229
doi: 10.1002/rnj.213
Continuing Education

Purpose: This mixed-methods pilot study examined the impact of a psychoeducational intervention (PEI) to expand coping skills and identify themes for focused nursing strategies to assist poststroke couples.

Design: Outcome variables, including dyadic coping, quality of life, depression, and self-care self-efficacy, were measured in experimental and control groups initially and after PEI was created with experimental couples in six home sessions.

Method: Repeated measures analysis of variance compared control (n = 5 stroke survivors; n = 5 spouses) and experimental groups' (n = 5 stroke survivors; n = 5 spouses) on outcomes.

Findings: Significant increase occurred in experimental group stroke survivors in coping by oneself and quality of life; depressive symptoms decreased. Significant increase in positive dyadic coping occurred for experimental group spouses. PEI intervention generated a major theme.

Conclusions: Nurse-initiated cognitive coping intervention was supported by experimental group's elements.

Clinical Relevance: Nurses may use psychoeducational techniques to motivate stroke couples.

1 College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA

2 Main Line Health System, Bryn Mawr, PA, USA

3 Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, Main Line Health System, Malvern, PA, USA


G. Robinson-Smith, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA.


© 2016 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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