Associations between social support and stroke survivors' health-related quality of life : a systematic review

W.J. Kruithof, M.L. van Mierlo, J.M. Visser-Meily, C.M. van Heugten, M.W. Post*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: Social support to stroke survivors has been recognized as an important determinant of their health-related quality of life (HRQoL), but this relationship is not clarified to date. More insight in the relationships between various types (i.e. emotional, instrumental, or informational support) and sources (i.e. partner, children) of social support and HRQoL might target post-stroke educational and counseling interventions to strengthen patient's social networks and supportive relationships.

Methods: Systematic review.

Results: 11 original articles could be included. Most of these articles studied the overall perceived social support without further specification of type or source. They show a positive relation between perceived social support and stroke survivors' HRQoL. Relations between perceived social support and HRQoL seems to be more often significant and were stronger than relationships between specific social support types or sources and HRQoL.

Conclusion: Due to the small number of studies and the heterogeneity in methods of assessing social support, a clear statement about the specific influence of social support source or type could not be made. Practice implications: Attention should be paid to promoting social support on the short and long term. Further research is needed to clarify the influence of social support type and source. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Quality of life
  • Review
  • Social support
  • Stroke


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