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nursing research, patient focused care, perceived stress, poststroke, recovery, stress, stroke



  1. Prather, Jenifer G.
  2. Stanfill, Ansley Grimes


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Stroke survivors (SS) may experience alterations in physical and cognitive processes that increase stress and reduce well-being. Timely and accurate measurement of stress throughout the continuum of recovery is necessary to inform targeted interventions that will improve quality of life for this group. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the utilization of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) during recovery in SS. METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was conducted using CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Scopus databases. Studies were included if they captured primary data collection using any version of the PSS at any time point in the poststroke recovery period and were published in English between 2011 and 2022. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were excluded. Evidence was synthesized, and themes were discussed. RESULTS: Among 397 studies, a total of 13 met inclusion criteria. Of these, 8 were cross-sectional studies, 3 were longitudinal studies, 1 was a randomized controlled trial, and the remaining study was a prospective nonrandomized trial. The PSS-10 (n = 7, 54%) was the most used version of the instrument, followed by the PSS-14 (n = 3, 23%) and PSS-4 (n = 2, 15.4%), with the modified PSS-10 being used in only 1 (7.6%) study. The PSS surveys were administered at various time points, ranging from the first day of admission to 3, 6, 9, or 12 months after discharge. Perceived stress may continue to negatively influence SS's psychological and physical well-being throughout the chronic phase of recovery. CONCLUSIONS: Stress is a unique and individualized experience that influences recovery trajectories in SS, an experience often overlooked or marginalized by clinicians and healthcare providers. To help mobilize strategies to achieve long-term health and wellness goals, future studies should explore and tailor interventions to minimize the influence of stress, as identified by the PSS, on well-being and quality of life during poststroke recovery.