Patient/caregiver roles often take the place of a partnership, researchers say
TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although many wedding vows include the phrase "in sickness and in health," a stroke can put that promise to the test by causing major relationship problems for married couples, according to British researchers.
The University of Ulster study included 16 married stroke survivors (nine males, seven females), aged 33 to 78. The time since their stroke ranged from two months to four years, with an average of 18 months.
The researchers found that the stroke significantly affected sexual activity, led to blurred relationship roles, and feelings such as anger and frustration were confounded by persistent fatigue and lack of independence.
Among the findings:
"All the participants perceived a stroke as a life-changing event. They faced a continuous daily struggle to achieve some sense of normality and that required huge amounts of physical and mental effort," study co-author Assumpta Ryan, of the University of Ulster's Nursing Research Institute, said in a university news release.
The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
The National Stroke Association has more about life after stroke.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: University of Ulster, news release, Nov. 3, 2009
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