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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Call for human contact and support: an interview study exploring patients' experiences with inpatient stroke rehabilitation and their perception of nurses' and nurse assistants' roles and functions

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PURPOSE: To describe patients' experiences with inpatient stroke rehabilitation and their perception of nurses' and nurse assistants' roles and functions during hospitalisation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a qualitative study, 10 interviews with stroke patients were conducted, transcribed, and analysed using qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: The patients' experiences with inpatient stroke rehabilitation and their perception of nurses' and nurse assistants' roles and functions during hospitalisation were found to be related to one overall theme derived from 10 categories. As a recurring motif in the patients' interviews, they experienced existential thoughts, and these thoughts unquestionably affected their experiences within the rehabilitation unit. These thoughts enhanced their need for human contact, thereby affecting their relationships with and perceptions of the nursing staff.

CONCLUSION: The findings deepen our understanding of how patients experience inpatient rehabilitation. The patients struggled with existential thoughts and concerns about the future and therefore called for human contact and support from the nursing staff. They perceived the nursing staff as mostly polite and helpful, but were unclear about the nursing staff's function in rehabilitation which, in the patients' perspective, equals physical training. Implications for Rehabilitation Nursing staff need to pay attention to the patients' needs, existential thoughts and concerns during inpatient rehabilitation. Meaningful goals for the rehabilitation of stroke patients are crucial, and it is vital that the patients commit to the goals. Patients expected polite and helpful nurses, but did not see them as therapeutic and active stakeholders, thus it is important that nursing staff present themselves as part of the interdisciplinary rehabilitation. There is a need for training and education of nursing staff, both pre and post graduate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and rehabilitation
Volume41
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)396-404
Number of pages9
ISSN1464-5165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

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    Research areas

  • Journal Article, rehabilitation, Qualitative study, nursing, vulnerability, stroke, neurology, Attitude of Health Personnel, Nurse's Role, Stroke Rehabilitation/methods, Humans, Middle Aged, Male, Patient Preference, Rehabilitation Nursing/education, Inpatients/psychology, Denmark, Adult, Female, Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data, Qualitative Research, Needs Assessment

ID: 52023982