Content » Vol 51, Issue 7

Original report

Closeness and life satisfaction after six years for persons with stroke and spouses

Kerstin S. Fugl-Meyer, Marie I. Nilsson, Lena von Koch, Charlotte Ytterberg
Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, SE-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden. Email: kerstin.sjogren.fugl-meyer@ki.se
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2566

Abstract

Objective: To explore long-term experiences of satisfaction with life in persons with stroke and spouses.
Design: This prospective cohort-study collected data on life satisfaction 1 and 6 years after stroke using the Life Satisfaction Checklist; focusing on “Life as a whole” and the domain “Closeness” (“Family life”, “Partner relationship”, “Sexual life”). Open-ended questions were added to illustrate changes in daily life.
Subjects: A total of 72 stroke participants (24 singles, 48 married) and 24 spouses. Most of the stroke participants were men with a mild stroke. Median age for persons with stroke and spouses was 65 years.
Results: All groups (singles/married stroke participants, spouses) experienced changes in satisfaction regarding “Closeness”, and most often these changes were perceived as negative. The item “Sexual life” had the lowest proportion of satisfied participants. After 6 years, 58% of singles and 78% of married stroke participants were satisfied with “Life as a whole”. The proportion of satisfied spouses was 41%.
Conclusion: For the vast majority of people who have had a stroke and their spouses, long-term satisfaction with aspects of “Closeness” decline. The results suggest a need to develop, evaluate and implement programmes that support satisfaction with the different aspects of “Closeness”.

Lay Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore long-term experiences of satisfaction with life in persons with stroke and spouses. Data were collected 1 and 6 years after stroke; focusing on “Life as a whole” and the domain “Closeness” (“Family life”, “Partner relationship”, “Sexual life”). A total of 72 persons with stroke (24 singles, 48 married) and 24 spouses participated. Most of the stroke participants were men. All groups (singles/married stroke participants, spouses) experienced changes in satisfaction regarding “Closeness” and most of these perceived as negative. “Sexual life” had the lowest proportion of satisfied participants. After 6 years, 58% of singles, 78% of married stroke participants and 41% of spouses were satisfied with “Life as a whole”. In conclusion, for the majority of people with stroke and their spouses, long-term satisfaction with aspects of “Closeness” declines. The results suggest a need to develop, evaluate and implement programmes that support satisfaction with the different aspects of “Closeness”.

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