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Racial/Ethnic Variation in Recovery From Stroke: The Role of Caregivers

Rittman MR, Sberna MA. Racial/Ethnic Variation in Recovery From Stroke: The Role of Caregivers. Paper presented at: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting; 2006 Aug 12; Montréal, Canada.


Background and Purpose-Research documents that African American and Latinos who have suffered an acute stroke recover more slowly than whites in the United States. This descriptive study examines (a) the racial/ethnic differences in the physical recovery from stroke of African American, Latino, and white stroke survivors over the course of a 2 year period, and (b) the role of caregivers in helping to explain racial/ethnic differences in stroke recovery. Methods-One hundred and thirty-five veterans who had been hospitalized after an acute stroke, released home, and identified an informal caregiver, were enrolled in the study. The racially and ethnically diverse veterans and their caregivers were interviewed at 5 time points over the course of 24 months to assess their recovery. Results- Results indicate linear and quadratic recovery trajectories over 24 months. White recovery is associated with lower caregiver depression, and lower hours of care per week. African American recovery is associated with more hours of caregiver employment and higher levels of patient education. Latino recovery is associated with younger patients, caregivers who do not reside in the home, caregivers who do not receive outside help in providing care, lower caregiver depression, and better caregiver health.

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