The Experiences of Couples Affected by Stroke and Nurses Managing Patient Rehabilitation: A Descriptive Study in Singapore

Sheena Ramazanu, Doris Leung, Vico Chung Lim Chiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Stroke in a family affects both patients and their spousal caregivers. Despite advances in the medical management of stroke, less is known about the social and cultural factors that impact couples regarding stroke recovery. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of stroke from the perspectives of couples affected by stroke and the nurses managing patient rehabilitation. METHODS: An interpretive descriptive study was conducted. Purposive sampling was used to enroll 17 participants, comprising eight nurses, five spousal caregivers, and four stroke survivors. Individual, in-depth interviews were performed at a rehabilitation hospital in Singapore in June 2018. RESULTS: The primary theme was the diverse meanings of stroke recovery attributed to limited conversations about the care decisions made by couples and rehabilitation nurses. The second theme was the challenges in nursing responsibilities that hindered the recovery of patients with stroke. CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The meaning of recovery differs between patients and their informal and formal care providers. This issue should be explored in patient-provider conversations, as these conversations highlight the values and preferences that affect the stroke recovery trajectory. Enhancing shared decision making by patients, spousal caregivers, and healthcare providers during the stroke trajectory may promote the alignment of values that are critical to the stroke recovery experience. Further research into whether and how to incorporate shared decision making in rehabilitation hospital settings as an interventional component is warranted to better support stroke survivors before discharge.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe journal of nursing research : JNR
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020


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