The quality and quantity of social support: Stroke recovery as psycho-social transition

Thomas A. Glass, George L. Maddox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


The impact of various types and amounts of social support is examined in the context of recovery from first stroke. We conceptualize the rehabilitation process as a psychosocial transition. In a longitudinal design, 44 patients were followed for 6 months following first stroke. Growth-curve analysis (repeated measures MANOVA) was utilized to examine the impact of three types of social support on changes in functional status during recovery. While all three types of support (emotional, instrumental and informational) were shown to be significantly related to recovery of functional capacity, substantial differences were found in the nature of those effects. The impact of social support does not appear during the first month of rehabilitation, indicating the importance of longitudinal designs and longer observation. Patients reporting high level of emotional support showed dramatic improvement despite having the lowest baseline functional status. Instrumental support is most closely related to positive outcomes when provided in moderate amounts. Unlike the other two types, the effect of informational support is mediated by disease severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1261
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • rehabilitation
  • social support
  • stressful events
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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