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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Mastering health following minor stroke-A qualitative explorative study

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BACKGROUND: Patients with minor stroke or transient ischemic attack are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent recurrent stroke. After discharge health behaviour is performed in an individual everyday context and must be properly understood within this context, including which aspects act as facilitators or barriers for healthy behaviour.

OBJECTIVES: To explore the experience of daily life in patients discharged home after minor stroke or transient ischemic attack, focusing on perceived health and reflection on health behaviour, and how this is associated with their overall experience of returning to their everyday context in relation to potential sequelae of stroke.

METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted 3 - 13 months after discharge with sixteen patients discharged home after minor stroke or transient ischemic attack. Inductive thematic analysis was performed to analyse the interviews.

RESULTS: Participants associated their health and behaviour within a lens of worrying for future life prospect and triggered by perceived intrusive changes in their life condition. Even though some found it possible to resume participation in everyday life within weeks, they became increasingly aware that minor cognitive deficits, difficulties with planning, multi-tasking, memory, and fatigue influenced their health believes and behavioural patterns. The need for social and professional support had to be balanced against a wish for independence.

CONCLUSION: Patients with minor stroke or transient ischemic attacks experience changes as both being concrete in the form of persisting symptoms and abstract in the form of worries and uncertainty about the future. Perceived health was associated with a new sense of vulnerability due to realisations about the risk of recurrent stroke. Worries were anchored within the individual to handle, but for some they serve as a motivator to regulate their behaviour in order to master health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106607
JournalJournal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases : the official journal of National Stroke Association
Volume31
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)106607
ISSN1052-3057
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Health behaviour, Nursing, Stroke, Transient ischaemic attack

ID: 79098981