Stroke survivors who like art have a better quality of life than those who do not

Stroke survivors who like art have a better quality of life than those who do not


European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing ( 2012 ) 11 ( Supplement ), S50
Purpose: A sudden emergence of brain vascular damage can cause functional and psychological disability in
stroke survivors (SS). Art exposure might play a significant role in preserving and/or enhancing patients’quality
of life (QOL). The aim of the present study was to evaluate how previous exposure to art, as an enrichment of
the sociocultural
individual’s background, might have positively influenced the level of quality of life after
Methods: A crosssectional
comparative study was used to analyze 192 SS divided in two groups: group Alpha
consisting of 105 patients who were interested in art; group Beta consisting of 87 patients who were not.The
following clinical evaluating scales were used: Stroke Impact Scale 3.0, a strokespecific
QOL measure with 8
individual scales; the Barthel Index, to evaluate patients’ functional autonomy; the SF36,
a generic instrument
measuring QOL in eight domains; and the National Institute of Health Stoke Scale (NIHSS), in order to assess
specific neurological functions. Ttest
for independent samples was used for statistical comparison of the two
groups of SS.
Results: Patients were 70 years old on average and were equally distributed between men and women. Patients
interested in art (group Alpha) showed better physical functioning (p = 0.043), better general health (p =
0.000), vitality (p = 0.006), mental health (p = 0.000), memory (p = 0.000), emotion (p = 0.000) and
communication (p = 0.000) than patients who were not (group Beta). No significant differences were observed
between the two groups regarding socio demographic variables, functional autonomy (p = 0.095) and
neurological functions (p = 0.086).
Conclusions: Stroke survivors who were familiar with art, and expressed appreciation towards music, painting,
theatre, etc, showed significantly better quality of life than patients who did not. These findings indicate that art
sensitivity might have facilitating effects on clinical recovery after a stroke. Therefore, the introduction of art
exposure in nursing care after stroke might contribute to SSs’ quality of life improvement.

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