DOI: 10.1161/str.55.suppl_1.tp255 ISSN: 0039-2499

Abstract TP255: Racism, Resilience, and Quality of Life in Black Stroke Survivors

Mary F Love, Munachi N Okpala, Sonya Cox, Andrea Brooks, Gail Cooksey, Emily Beamon, Anjail Z Sharrief
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neurology (clinical)

Introduction: Stroke impairs stroke survivor (SS) quality of life (QoL). Black SS in the US also endure stress from structural, cultural, and interpersonal racism. Resilience is a dynamic process of maintaining stable functioning after an event such as stroke. This observational study aimed to assess the effects of racism and resilience on Black SS QoL.

Methods: Participants were community-dwelling SS (age ≥ 18) who identified as African American or Black and experienced a stroke within 8 weeks. Baseline data collection included exposure (discrimination, vigilance, resilience), demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables. Outcome data for QoL was gathered after 6 months. The effects of exposure variables and covariates on QoL were analyzed with multiple linear regression.

Results: Participants (n=74) had a mean age of 56.2, 32% were in marital or partner relationships, and 58% were female. Most participants (84%) had ischemic stroke, with no more than mild disability (mRS 0-2 for 80%). Over half of participants had some college (32%) or a college degree (20%). The remaining 46% had a high school education or less. Work status included 32% currently working, 15% not working, 28% retired, and 24% disabled. Half reported an annual household income of < $25,000, with 63% living at ≤ 200% above the US poverty level. Participants reported moderate (64%) to high (8%) perceived stress, and 14% had moderate to moderately severe anxiety. Resilience was correlated with stress (r=-.59, p<.001) and anxiety (r=-.66, p<.01). At 6-month follow-up (n=44), QoL domains were very low for social relations ( M =36.83, SD=17.76) and environment ( M= 35.04, SD=14.57), and moderately low for physical ( M =46.49, SD=19.22) and psychological ( M =54.39, SD=17.23). Higher vigilance and higher disability explained 23.3% of the variance in social relations QoL (F=7.545, p=.002). Higher resilience and higher socioeconomic status explained 25.7% of the variance in psychological QoL (F=5.524, p=.009).

Conclusions: This sample had significant baseline socioeconomic disadvantage and increased psychosocial stress at baseline, and diminished QoL 6 months post-stroke. Future research with larger samples is warranted.

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