The research article “The Effect of Emotional Distress on Functional Outcomes in Acute Stroke Patients” by Gunal, Baskurt, & Baskurt, (2019) addresses the effective planning of rehabilitation programs by considering the emotional state of acute stroke patients. In this regard, a critical evaluation of the article is presented in this paper.
The Purpose of the Study
More than 15 million stroke patients are reported each year across the globe, who face many motor, sensory, cognitive, and emotional problems. However, emotional problems such as depression, uncontrollable crying, anxiety, etc. along with many behavioral and personality disorders like irritability, anger, lack of interest, and sexual changes are the most frequent problems after an acute stroke which halt the rehabilitation process and therefore, need special rehabilitation methods. These problems and outcomes are not discussed comprehensively in the previous studies and, therefore, the current study investigated the influence of emotional disorder on the functional after-effects of patients with acute stroke to define the acute period rehabilitation approaches more extensively (Gunal, Baskurt, & Baskurt, 2019).
The research was conducted on 51 female and 40 male patients diagnosed with acute stroke with different demographic and clinical characteristics, and risk factors which were provided special treatments based on their functional level. The outcomes were measured by applying the PDS i.e. patient distress scale, PFMP i.e. the physiotherapy functional mobility profile, and FIM i.e. the functional independence measure before initiating any rehabilitation process. The rehabilitation outcomes were evaluated using the Montebello Rehabilitation Factor Score (MRFS).
The research showed that patients’ emotional state has a direct impact on their functional outcomes, mobility, and performance level. This is also in accordance with the results of previous studies. Furthermore, a significant direct relationship between the variations in emotional levels and outcomes of functional levels of the patients was observed with an average hospital stay of six to ten days (Gunal, Baskurt, & Baskurt, 2019). Therefore, the authors have concluded that “Independence in daily living activities, the mobility when lying, sitting or standing, and the gains made in rehabilitation were directly affected by the emotional state” (Gunal, Baskurt, & Baskurt, 2019).
Rehabilitation processes are primarily designed to help stroke patients regain their functional independence and improve their quality of life. Therefore, prior identification of different emotional factors of the patients is necessary as it can considerably affect the performance of such processes. Reportedly, emotional distress such as depression increases the usage of alcohol and drugs and also increases the chances of death and suicide in acute stroke patients (Gunal, Baskurt, & Baskurt, 2019). Therefore, as stated above, these emotional and physiological problems prevent the post-stroke rehabilitation process that making it necessary to evaluate emotional problems and outcomes.
In this regard, the findings of the paper under discussion are very significant to improve the rehabilitation processes considering the potential issues which can influence their effectiveness. Also, as the results of the study are consistent with the previous research that highlights the effects of emotional distress on mobility performance, future nursing practices with regard to the rehabilitation of acute stroke patients can be designed and improved significantly by including both physical and emotional dimensions.
By critically reviewing the article, it can be concluded that the report provides sufficient information and evidence to include emotional problems and outcomes while planning rehabilitation processes for acute stroke patients. Therefore, future clinical practices must utilize the findings to evaluate and implement a specific rehabilitation strategy. This will ensure that the rehabilitation process is effective in meeting the required objectives of helping acute stroke patients regain their motor, cognitive and psychological independence and performance.
Gunal, A., Baskurt, F., & Baskurt, Z. (2019). The effect of emotional distress on functional outcomes in acute stroke patients. Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice, 22(11), 1583. https://doi.org/10.4103/njcp.njcp_584_18