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Return to work predictors of stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers.

Schulz CH, Godwin KM, Hersch GI, Hyde LK, Irabor JJ, Ostwald SK. Return to work predictors of stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers. Work (Reading, Mass.). 2017 Jan 1; 57(1):111-124.

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BACKGROUND: Return to work is an issue of concern for stroke survivors and their spouses. Ramifications may include loss of income and self-efficacy. OBJECTIVE: This study describes the return to work patterns of stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers post stroke. METHODS: One hundred fifty-nine dyads were examined for their return to work patterns at baseline (post hospital discharge) and then at 3 month intervals for one year. Relationships were determined between work and gender, age, ethnicity, education, type of insurance, type of stroke, location of stroke, motor and cognitive functional status, depression, mutuality, and life satisfaction. RESULTS: Low levels of return to work by stroke survivors (7.5%) and a small decrease in the amount of working caregivers (from 45.3% to 40.35%) were found one year post baseline. Variables that predicted return to work changed over the five data points except for younger age for the caregiver, which was consistently significant across all data points. Three case scenarios representative of working patterns are offered. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed regarding the return to work needs of stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers, particularly what role the occupational therapist may play in facilitating that process.

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