• The relationship and differences between depression and perceived enactment of autonomy scores among post-stroke elderly

      Castellucci, Deborah Dickson; McElroy, Evelyn M. (1995)
      This research investigated what the relationship was between the elderly's perceived ability to be self-determined and the level of depression following a stroke. Additionally, differences between depression and perceived enactment of autonomy scores based on gender and cerebral hemisphere infarct were studied. A convenience sample of 20 post-stroke elderly, who ranged in age from 65-84 years comprised the sample. All subjects completed Beck's Depression Inventory and Hertz's Perceived Enactment of Autonomy Scale. The first research question was: What is the relationship between perceived ability to be self-determining and the level of depression in the post-stroke elderly person? It was hypothesized that for post-stroke elderly there would be an inverse correlation found between depression and perceived enactment of autonomy scores. A correlational analysis found that there was a significant inverse relationship between depression and perceived enactment of autonomy scores (r = -.79) supporting the hypothesis. A second research question was: How does the elderly person describe feelings about rehabilitation, opportunities to make decisions and thoughts about changing one life event? A guided interview was created to elicit a descriptive response to this question by the older adult. A third and fourth research question asked: Are there gender differences on depression and perceived enactment of autonomy scores? An analysis of variance found no significant differences. A final question asked: What relationship is there between the area of infarct and the level of depression and perceived enactment of autonomy scores? A statistically, significant difference was found between hemisphere of infarct and depression scores (F (19) = 11.14, p < .05). The findings supported the hypothesis of the study and suggested that future research include the perception of being able to enact self-determined behavior among the post-stroke elderly. Research on the multi-faceted etiology of depression needs to be continued related to the economic, social, psychological and physical impact post-stroke depression can have on the progress of rehabilitation.