Life experiences after stroke among Iranian stroke survivors

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Background:Stroke is a major cause of disability worldwide. It is a life-threatening and life-altering event, which leaves many physical and mental disabilities, thus creating major social and economic burdens. Experiencing a stroke and its aftermath can be devastating for patients and their families. In Iran, many services are not available for those who lack property; this may result in many difficulties and long-term problems for stroke survivors and their family members who are usually the main caregivers in Iranian cultural. Despite its effect on their lives, little is known about how the survivors perceive stroke in the Iranian context, therefore, knowing more about this process may enhance problem identification and problem solving.Aim:To illuminate how stroke survivors experience and perceive life after stroke.Method:A grounded theory approach was recruited using semi-structured interviews with 10 stroke survivors.Findings:The survivors perceived that inadequate social and financial support, lack of an educational plan, lack of access to rehabilitative services, physical and psychological problems led them to functional disturbances, poor socio-economical situation and life disintegration. The core concept of life after stroke was functional disturbances.Conclusions:The study shows the need to support the stroke survivors in their coping process with their new situation by providing appropriate discharge plans, social and financial support, social insurances and training programmes for the stroke survivors and their families.

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