Comparison of life satisfaction within couples one year after a partner's stroke
Gunnel E. Carlsson, Gunilla Forsberg-Wärleby, Anders Möller and Christian Blomstrand
Objective: To compare life satisfaction within couples one year after a partner’s stroke and with norm values and social factors.
Subjects and methods: A total of 56 couples were consecutively included. The respondents estimated life satisfaction using the Life Satisfaction Checklist 9-item version. Patients’ impairments, self-care ability and handicap were assessed. Social characteristics were registered. Non-parametrical statistical methods were used for analyses.
Results: Patients were physically mildly disabled by their stroke. The most common symptom was mental fatigability. Patients were, in general, less satisfied than spouses. The couples were less satisfied than norms. Satisfaction with life as a whole, leisure and sex life were most affected for both patients and spouses. Relationship with partner was the only domain in which patients were more satisfied than their spouses and almost equally satisfied compared with norms. The proportion of couples in which both partners agreed they were satisfied, for the following domains was: leisure time 20%, sex life 25%, vocation/occupation 29%, life as a whole 30%, finances 47%, social contacts 48%, relationship with partner 60%, family life 66% and ability in self-care 66%.
Conclusion: Life satisfaction was negatively affected in both partners, although in different life domains. Support should address the different needs of patients and spouses as well as their mutual needs.