Background: Availability of social support has been identified as an important prerequisite for positive outcomes after stroke. There is however, little information on variables that influence the availability of social support after stroke. Aim: This study explored the influence of selected sociodemographic and clinical variables on social support of stroke survivors in Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: One hundred stroke survivors undergoing rehabilitation at two tertiaryâÂ€Â‘care hospitals in Northern Nigeria participated in the study. Data on age, gender, living arrangement, marital, education and prestroke employment status, and time after stroke were obtained through interview, while poststroke disability was evaluated with the modified Rankin Scale. Social support was assessed with the multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS). Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted. A P value of less than 0.05 is considered as significant. Results: Univariate analysis showed that gender, education, and prestroke employment status were significantly associated with the availability of social support. In a regression model that accounted for 11 % of the variance in social support, prestroke employment was the only variable that independently influenced availability of social support (β = −0.33, P < 0.01) with previously employed stroke survivors having higher MSPSS score (5.28 [0.98]) compared to the unemployed (4.57 [0.82]). Conclusion: Employment is a known significant contributor to social network and was also found to influence significantly, the availability of poststroke social support in this study. Further studies are required to identify factors that more substantially influence the availability of social support after stroke.
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