Date of Award

Spring 1979

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Routine nursing care was provided to four patients in an acute care setting who had experienced an initial episode of stroke. Behavioral indicators of family functioning that were observed or reported were recorded following all interactions. Smilkstein's five components of family functioning (Adaptation, Partnership, Growth, Affection, and Resolve) were used to categorize the data. (Journal of Family Practice 6 (June 1978) 1232-35) A family functioning score was assigned to each family. The score was based upon the frequency that indicators of each category were observed. All families rated high in Adaptation and Affection. In contrast, Partnership and Resolve were rated low in all families. Nursing interventions utilized that were believed to have influenced family functioning are also reported. Patient-family education was found to be particularly important in facilitating three components: Adaptation, Growth, and Resolve. Recommendations for further study are development of family assessment tools for use by nursing and increased nursing involvement in studies with families.



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