Frustrated and invisible--younger stroke patients' experiences of the rehabilitation process

Disabil Rehabil. 2003 Aug 5;25(15):867-74. doi: 10.1080/0963828031000122276.


Purpose: This study aimed to get knowledge of the younger stroke patient's viewpoint and to describe how young stroke patients experience the rehabilitation process. The purpose was also to develop hypotheses about the relationship between young stroke patients and the rehabilitation process.

Method: Thematised in-depth interviews were performed with two women and three men who suffered from stroke (37 - 54 years). The analysis used was the Grounded Theory method of constant comparison.

Results: The analyses resulted in the core category 'Frustration' which was derived from the categories labelled 'The paralysed everyday' and 'Outside and invisible'. 'The paralysed everyday' category involved different aspects of everyday life after a stroke. Because of their fatigue they were unable to work and their family and social life were negatively affected. They found it difficult to engage in daily life activities and felt indifferent. The three women expressed frustration over the demands they experienced as being mothers and housekeepers, whereas the two men emphasised economic responsibility of the family as problematic. The category 'Outside and invisible' describes the lack of participation the informants experienced regarding the rehabilitation process. The informants felt they lacked information and age-adapted interventions. Their needs were not provided for and they felt distant from the other patients. Their remaining symptoms were probably on a cognitive basis and therefore invisible. This was a source of frustration.

Conclusion: The hypotheses generated indicated that young stroke patients are frustrated and invisible due to the fact that the rehabilitation setting does not acknowledge the different needs of young stroke patients compared with older patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Therapy / methods
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / methods
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke / psychology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome