Content » Vol 37, Issue 4

Children's adjustment to a parent's stroke: determinants of health status and psychological problems, and the role of support from the rehabilitation team

Anne Visser-Meily A1, Marcel Post A1, A2, Anne Marie Meijer A3, Cora Maas A4, Marjolijn Ketelaar A1, Eline Lindeman A1
A1 From the Rehabilitation Centre De Hoogstraat and Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center, Utrecht
A2 iRv, Institute for Rehabilitation Research, Hoensbroek
A3 Department of Education, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A4 Department of Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

DOI: 10.1080/16501970510025990


Objective: To investigate the support given to young children of patients with stroke by rehabilitation teams and to identify characteristics of the patients, spouses and children that relate to children's adjustment 2 months after the patient's discharge. Subjects and methods: Seventy-seven children (≤18 years of age) of patients with stroke consecutively admitted to inpatient rehabilitation were included. Adjustment was measured with the Child Behaviour Check List, Child Depression Inventory and Functional Status II. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted to identify determinants of adjustment. Results: Half of the children received some form of support from a rehabilitation team. Receiving more support was related to more severe disability of the parent with stroke, but not to the child's health or behavioural problems at the start of the stroke victim's inpatient stay. At the start of rehabilitation, 54% of the children had subclinical or clinical problems. Children's adjustment 2 months after their parent's discharge was related to the strain on spouses and not to the patients' characteristics or those of the support. Conclusion: The children's adjustment was related to the strain perceived by the healthy parent. There is a need for support that focuses on the experience of children of patients with stroke, regardless of stroke severity.

Lay Abstract


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