Influence of environmental factors on social participation post-stroke

Erin L. Foley, Marjorie L. Nicholas, Carolyn M. Baum, Lisa Tabor Connor

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Objectives. For rehabilitation professionals to adequately address meaningful participation in social activities with their patients after a stroke, there must be a better understanding of neurobehavior, that is, how neurological impairment and its sequelae and environmental factors support or limit social participation. The current study examines how stroke severity (NIH Stroke Scale), its impact on perceived mobility (Stroke Impact Scale mobility domain), and the environment (MOS Social Support-Positive Social Interactions scale and Measure of Stroke Environment receptivity and built environment domains) influence social participation (Activity Card Sort: ACS). Methods. A correlational, cross-sectional design examined the relationships among neurological impairment, perceived limitations in activity, environmental factors, and social participation. Participants included 48 individuals who were at least 6 months post-stroke both with aphasia (N = 22) and without aphasia (N = 26) living in the community for whom all measures were available for analysis. Results. No differences in social participation were found between those with and without aphasia, though both groups reported a large (25-30%) decline in participating in their prestroke social activities. For the ACS Social Domain activities and ACS Partner to Do With activities (percent retained), 37% and 35% of the variance, respectively, was accounted for by the predictor variables, with only MOS Social Support making an independent contribution to social participation. In this sample, neurological impairment was not a significant correlate of social participation. Additionally, perceived mobility and the built environment were not found to independently predict participation in social activities. Conclusions. Perceived social support was found to predict social participation in individuals living in the community 6 months or greater post-stroke. Focusing on social support during post-stroke rehabilitation may provide an avenue for increased social participation and more successful community reintegration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2606039
JournalBehavioural neurology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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