The relationship between family caregivers’ emotional states and ability to empathize with post-stroke individuals

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Date
2013-09-09
Authors
Jin, Chen
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Abstract
Stroke is one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses in Canada. Family caregivers can make a significant contribution toward patients’ recovery. Caregivers’ emotions can impact their motivation to engage in empathy-related helping behaviours. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among functional deficits of post-stroke individuals, family caregivers’ emotions, and caregivers’ ability to empathize with post-stroke individuals. As guided by Davis’s organizational model on empathy, a correlational descriptive methodology was employed. Participants were requested to complete four questionnaires. Study found that caregiver fatigue was the only factor associated with caregiver empathy-related behaviour. Analyses also found that communication deficits had a linkage with caregivers’ negative emotions. Study results will contribute to the current state of the literature on post-stroke care at home by understanding of the impact of caregivers’ psychological experiences on their empathy-related responses toward post-stroke individuals. Recommendations for clinical practice and future research were made based on this study’s results.
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Keywords
caregiver, stroke, emotion, empathy
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