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Life changed existentially: a qualitative study of experiences at 6-8 months after mild stroke

, : Life changed existentially: a qualitative study of experiences at 6-8 months after mild stroke. Disability and Rehabilitation 36(25): 2107-2119

To explore experiences of mild-stroke survivors in the context of early supported discharge. The meanings patients attributed to activities and participation in the home recovery process were our main interest. Eight participants (45-80 years) from a randomised controlled study were selected for this sub-study. This purposive sample had received rehabilitation in their homes in the post-stroke acute phase of recovery as part of the larger study. Extensive interview data were analysed using an interpretive strategy and systematic text condensation. Coping theory was included in later stages of analysis. The mild-stroke survivors' stories revealed that life had changed profoundly. Differences and similarities in experienced changes were related to: self-perceived health, the body, practical activities, taking part in society, and self-perception. The findings showed the ways in which life changed for mild-stroke survivors, experienced challenges, and survivors' thoughts about the future. Mild-stroke rehabilitation should focus more strongly on basic concerns related to self-perceived health, self-perception, and body, since these dimensions seem to complicate daily activities and close relationships. Professionals should also be aware of patients who experience an uncertain situation and unresolved rehabilitation needs, which still can be present 6-8 months after the stroke. When living with mild stroke, entrance to practical and social activities seemed founded on the patients' perception of the body and self as comprehensible or not. Comprehending their own changed body and sense of self seem to be a long-term process when living with mild stroke. It is suggested that long-term follow-up be incorporated in home rehabilitation service, also in the context of early supported discharge. This may contribute to help patient cope more optimally with activities and participation of importance to them.


PMID: 24670126

DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.904448

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