Social Support and Coping as Predictors of Psychological Distress in Family Caregivers of Stroke Patients

Nayab Ali, Rukhsana Kausar

Abstract


The present study aimed to examine the predictive outcome of social support and coping on psychological distress in family caregivers of stroke patients. The purposive sample comprised of 90 family caregivers of stroke patients. The family caregivers between 20-45 years were taken from medical units of different teaching Government hospitals of Lahore, Pakistan. Assessment tools included Incapacity Status Scale (Kurtzke, 1981), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet, and Farley, 1988), Coping Strategies Questionnaire (Kausar and Munir, 2004), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (Lovibond and Lovibond, 1995). Results showed that the caregivers perceived most social support from their family. The most commonly used coping strategy was active practical coping and the least used was active distractive coping. Significant negative relationship was found between perceived social support by family and significant others and depression in caregivers. Similarly, significant negative relationship existed between severity of stroke and caregivers’ perceived social support by significant others. Family monthly income was negative predictor of psychological distress experienced by the family caregivers and the caregivers’ depression was negatively predicted by caregivers’ perceived family social support. It was concluded that social support plays an important role in psychological distress experienced by family caregivers of stroke patients. Interventions designed at enhancing social support may be beneficial in the context of stroke patients’ care.

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