Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Effects of living with and looking after survivors of a stroke.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 16 August 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:418
  1. D T Wade,
  2. J Legh-Smith,
  3. R L Hewer


    Information from a two year, longitudinal study on a community sample of patients with acute stroke was analysed to determine the effects of the stroke on the mood of the chief carer (the person living with the patient). Increased anxiety was the most commonly reported change six months after stroke. Significant depression was seen in 11-13% of carers over the first two years after stroke. The patient's functional disability was associated with depression in the carer over the first year but not at two years. A perceived poor recovery by the patient, a low level of general activities by the patient, and depression in the patient were also associated with depression in the carer within the first year. At two years after stroke none of the measured factors were related to a carer's level of depression. Carers of patients who have suffered stroke showed anxiety and emotional distress unrelated to the patient's physical disability after two years. More help from stroke support groups for carers is perhaps needed.