Neurological, Perceptual, and Cognitive Complexities: Stroke

Neurological, Perceptual, and Cognitive Complexities: Stroke
Discuss characteristic findings for a stroke and how it affects the lives of patients and their families. Discuss the nurse\’s role in supporting the patient\’s psychological and emotional needs. Provide an example.
Stroke, also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is a brain attack that occurs when the blood supply to the part of the brain is interrupted. In this case, the brain cells are starved of oxygen, leading to a malfunction of various body parts controlled by the central nervous system.
Neurological, Perceptual, and Cognitive Complexities: Stroke
Stroke is a medical emergency that requires rapid intervention to increase chances of survival and curb the risk of permanent brain damage.  The risk of stroke increases with age and is common in both men and women; however, women live longer than men (Mun et al., 2016).  The risk factors for stroke encompasses high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety, certain types of medicine, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and alcoholism.Characteristic findings

The characteristic findings of stroke are evident through the F.A.S.T test. F- one side of the face drooping when the patient is asked to smile. A- one arm is drifting downward when the client is asked to raise both arms. S- the speech is slurred or strange when an individual is asked to repeat simple phrases. T- seek medical attention immediately if any sign is detected (Mun et al., 2016).

Some of the common characteristic features for stroke include:

Muscular: the patient demonstrates difficulty walking paralysis, stiff muscle, incoordination, and instability.

Visual; temporary loss of vision in one eye

Limbs; numbness

Facial; muscle weakness

The whole body; general body weakness, and vertigo

Sensory; reduced sensation of touch in some parts

The patient could also demonstrate difficulty swallowing, confusion, headaches, and involuntary eye movement.

Effects on patients and families

Stroke patients lack the capacity to engage in regular activities. It affects the income levels of the family, primarily if it affects the breadwinner. Even if the patients resume work, the productivity level would not be the same. The cost of healthcare may be high hence exhausting the patient and family resources. A stroke patient may experience changes in sexual interest. The interests may be reduced or increased referent to psychological adjustments. The changes in sexual behavior can be brought about stress to the partner and family members (Ezeugwu, Garga, & Manns, 2017). Role change is inevitable in the family when one has a stroke. The family roles are often changed; for instance, the children could start taking care of their parents. Spouses could be forced to give you their jobs to care for their loved ones.

Role of the nurse

The nurse is obliged to facilitate and support a stroke patient to receive high-quality care at the right moment. The nurse provides psychological support through a process of counseling. The nurse takes the patient and family through steps enabling them to understand the disease process and expected outcome. This could trigger the acceptance of the current situation and ease the stress. The nurse could also offer reassurance to that the condition is treatable, and the patient would normalize in due course. This generates a sense of hope for the patient and by extension, the family members (Harrison, Ryan, Gardiner, & Jones, A. (2017).

The nurse could build a therapeutic relationship with the patient that is emotionally attached. It could trigger the patient to share personal feelings and express specific needs for individualized care. The nurse could promote family attachment by allowing the family members to interact with the patient. They would also perform some care practices that would make the patient feel appreciated and bring about emotional balance. For example, the nurse could organize home visits to monitor the patient’s progress and provide encouragement and supportive care.


Ezeugwu, V. E., Garga, N., & Manns, P. J. (2017). Reducing sedentary behaviour after stroke: perspectives of ambulatory individuals with stroke. Disability and rehabilitation39(25), 2551-2558.

Harrison, M., Ryan, T., Gardiner, C., & Jones, A. (2017). Psychological and emotional needs, assessment, and support post-stroke: a multi-perspective qualitative study. Topics in stroke rehabilitation24(2), 119-125.

Mun, J. K., Park, S. J., Kim, S. J., Bang, O. Y., Chung, C. S., Lee, K. H., & Kim, G. M. (2016). Characteristic lesion pattern and echocardiographic findings in extra-cardiac shunt-related stroke. Journal of the neurological sciences369, 176-180.