COMPARING SPIRITUALITY AND QUALITY OF LIFE BETWEEN STROKE SURVIVORS AND THEIR FAMILY CAREGIVERS
Background: Stroke results in hardship to both patients and family caregivers. The spirituality and quality of life (QOL) of stroke survivors and their caregivers may differ from each other. No study on the effect of stroke on spirituality and QOL of both stroke survivors and their caregivers is available from Malaysia. This research was performed to compare spirituality and QOL of stroke survivors and caregivers.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with a total of 160 stroke survivors and 160 family caregivers from Hospital Rehabilitasi Cheras and Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Spirituality was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Spiritual Well-Being Scale (FACIT-Sp) and QOL was assessed using the Short Form-12 Health Survey (SF-12), which has been validated in Malaysian populations. All analyses were carried out using IBM SPSS version 22. T-test was adopted to compare QOL and spirituality scores between stroke survivors and caregivers.
Result: Stroke survivors had a mean age of 53.3 ± 14.9 years and 60 % of the survivors were male. The caregiver was usually a woman (61.9%) and had a mean age of 45.2 ± 13.6 years. Caregivers rated statistically significant higher spirituality and QOL scores than stroke survivors. There were significant differences in QOL and spirituality based on gender.
Conclusion: Stroke survivors tend to have lower QOL and spirituality scores than their caregivers. This study has highlighted the need for interventions and supports not only to improve stroke survivor’s health but also improve outcomes for caregiver.Keywords: Malaysia, Quality of life, spirituality, stroke, caregivers