Predictors of posttraumatic growth in stroke survivors
Aims: Posttraumatic growth (PTG) describes the positive changes that can be experienced\ud following exposure to a traumatic event such as stroke. There are no known studies examining\ud the development of PTG in stroke survivors over time. This study sought to address this gap\ud in the literature by investigating the predictors of PTG in stroke survivors over time.\ud \ud Design: A longitudinal survey design was employed to examine the relationship between PTG\ud and a range of predictor variables at two time points within a year post-stroke.\ud \ud Method: Forty-three stroke survivors were recruited through a stroke outpatient clinic in the\ud National Health Service. At both time points all participants completed the Posttraumatic\ud Growth Inventory (PTGI), Rumination Scale, Impact of events scale (IES-R), Multidimensional\ud Scale of Social Support (MSPSS), the Barthel Index and the COPE scale.\ud \ud Results: This study found that participants experienced PTG in the acute phase post-stroke\ud (i.e. time 1) but experienced significantly more growth six months later (i.e. time 2). Reported\ud levels of PTG were similar to comparable literature. A stepwise linear regression revealed that\ud active coping at time 1, rumination at time 1 and age accounted for 48% of the variance in\ud PTG at time 2. Active coping at time 1 was associated with PTG at time 2 but it did not mediate\ud the effect of social support on PTG. However, this study found that rumination mediated the\ud relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and PTG over time.\ud \ud Conclusions: This study suggests that PTG can develop in stroke survivors over time and\ud supports the theory that deliberate rumination promotes PTG (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1995,\ud 2004). Notably, denial coping at time 1 was associated with rumination at time 2. Such\ud findings reflect the complexity of post-stroke psychological adjustment. Theoretical\ud implications of the study findings are discussed and areas for future research considered.