A qualitative study of quality of life after stroke: The importance of social relationships

Elizabeth B. Lynch*, Zeeshan Butt, Allen Walter Heinemann, David E Victorson, Cindy J Nowinski, Lori Perez, David Cella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in the USA; however, we have an incomplete understanding of how stroke affects long-term quality of life. Methods: We report here findings from focus groups with 9 long-term stroke survivors and 6 caregivers addressing patients' post-stroke quality of life. Results: Key themes identified by patients were: social support, coping mechanisms, communication, physical functioning and independence. Role changes in patients were important to caregivers. Much of the discussion with patients and caregivers described specific ways in which the stroke altered social relationships. Conclusion: These findings are consistent with prior research indicating the importance of social factors to quality of life following stroke. Our findings suggest that measures of stroke-related quality of life should include assessment of social function and social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-523
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

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Stroke
Quality of Life
Caregivers
Social Support
Focus Groups
Survivors
Communication
Research

Keywords

  • Qualitative analysis
  • Quality of life
  • Social function
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

Cite this

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abstract = "Background: Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in the USA; however, we have an incomplete understanding of how stroke affects long-term quality of life. Methods: We report here findings from focus groups with 9 long-term stroke survivors and 6 caregivers addressing patients' post-stroke quality of life. Results: Key themes identified by patients were: social support, coping mechanisms, communication, physical functioning and independence. Role changes in patients were important to caregivers. Much of the discussion with patients and caregivers described specific ways in which the stroke altered social relationships. Conclusion: These findings are consistent with prior research indicating the importance of social factors to quality of life following stroke. Our findings suggest that measures of stroke-related quality of life should include assessment of social function and social support.",
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AU - Lynch, Elizabeth B.

AU - Butt, Zeeshan

AU - Heinemann, Allen Walter

AU - Victorson, David E

AU - Nowinski, Cindy J

AU - Perez, Lori

AU - Cella, David

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N2 - Background: Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in the USA; however, we have an incomplete understanding of how stroke affects long-term quality of life. Methods: We report here findings from focus groups with 9 long-term stroke survivors and 6 caregivers addressing patients' post-stroke quality of life. Results: Key themes identified by patients were: social support, coping mechanisms, communication, physical functioning and independence. Role changes in patients were important to caregivers. Much of the discussion with patients and caregivers described specific ways in which the stroke altered social relationships. Conclusion: These findings are consistent with prior research indicating the importance of social factors to quality of life following stroke. Our findings suggest that measures of stroke-related quality of life should include assessment of social function and social support.

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