SIGNIFICANT OTHERS PERCEPTION OF
QUALITY OF LIFE AFTER STROKE
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
A stroke is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the brain, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot, as define by World Health Organization. The blockage of oxygen and nutrients to the brain can cause damage to the brain tissue. The most common symptom of stroke is sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other symptoms include: confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech; difficulty seeing with one or both eyes; difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; severe headache with no known cause; fainting or unconsciousness. The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured and how severely it is affected. A very severe stroke can cause sudden death (WHO 2012). The stroke statistics are grim. According to World Health Organization annually there are 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke. Of these, 5 million die and another 5 million are left permanently disabled, placing a burden on family and community. According to the Philippine Health Statistics (2004), stroke kills 61.8 per 100,000 population. It is the second leading cause of mortality in the Philippines, next to heart diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that in 2007 alone, stroke affected 486 out of 100, 000 Filipinos. Furthermore stroke is the second leading cause of death in the Philippines and worldwide. It is also the leading cause of disability with about 32% of stroke survivors rendered permanently disabled. With the improvements on health care, more people survive stroke but many have to cope with the physical, emotional and social problem. Cerebral stoke can cause a significant deterioration of the patient’s functioning and worsening their quality of life. Long-term disability is the common problem of patient and it increases markedly with increasing age. There can be fear, apprehension and uncertainty that stroke survivors and families face in the aftermath of stroke. Questions often arise about what life changes to expect after stroke and how to gain control and independence in everyday living situations. Stroke has a great impact not only on the patients’ lives but also on the lives of their significant others. The significant others of stroke patients provide informal care ranging from physical help to psychosocial support. As a result, these caregivers may experience high levels of burden, associated with characteristics of the patients and of the caregivers themselves. This burden can result in a deterioration of the caregivers’ health status, social life and well-being. It’s important to become aware of common effects of stroke and how to improve the emotional and physical well-being of not only the stroke patient but also the emotional and physical well-being of significant others. The researcher wants to give concrete answer on how stroke affect the significant others quality of life and how they will cope with the lifetime disability brought by this illness to their love ones. Hence the researcher came up to conduct a study entitled: “Significant Others Perception of Quality of Life After Stroke”. Theoretical Framework
The theoretical framework that will utilize in this thesis is the family system theory of Dr. Murray Bowen. The family systems theory is a theory introduced by Dr. Murray Bowen in 1950’s. He suggested that individuals cannot be understood in isolation from one another, but rather as a part of their family, as the family is an emotional unit. Families are systems of interconnected and interdependent individuals, none of whom can be understood in isolation from the system. Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions...
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