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  1. Baseman, Susan
  2. Fisher, Kathleen
  3. Ward, Louise
  4. Bhattacharya, Anand


ABSTRACT: Stroke is a leading cause of death and a serious long-term disability in this country. Much of the research on stroke rehabilitation has focused on physical/functional recovery as the predominant measure of outcome. There is a gap in knowledge of social issues and integration into societal, family, and community roles after stroke. A descriptive, correlational survey design was used to examine the relationships of functional status, depression, and overall stroke recovery to social integration in a convenience sample of ischemic stroke survivors. The survey response rate was 21.4%. Results showed that functional status, overall stroke recovery, and depression are highly significant predictors of social integration, explaining 62% of the variance (adjusted R2). Comorbid depression was negatively (-.74) and significantly (.01, two-tailed) correlated to social integration, such that higher levels of depression are associated with lower levels of social integration. Finally, employment status after stroke dropped from 48% to 4.2%, and poststroke employment status was correlated to social integration (significance = .03). Care for patients with chronic conditions like stroke should address all domains of the individual-physical, psychosocial, and environmental. Factors including depression and perceptions of overall stroke recovery are significant and should be addressed in the rehabilitation process to better promote social integration. Social integration is an important and understudied aspect of stroke recovery that warrants further research.