Objective: To explore stroke survivors', caregivers', and health care professionals' perceptions of weekend passes offered during inpatient rehabilitation and its role in facilitating the transition home.
Design: Qualitative descriptive.
Subjects: Sixteen stroke survivors, 15 caregivers, and 20 health care professionals' from a rehabilitation hospital.
Methods: Participants discussed their perceptions of the purpose of the weekend pass, experiences with the weekend pass including supports needed, and weekend pass administration. Focus group and interview data were audio recorded, professionally transcribed, checked for accuracy, and analyzed using conventional content analysis.
Results: We identified 3 key themes: i) preparing for patients to be safe at home; ii) gaining insight through the weekend pass; and iii) the emotional context of the weekend pass. These themes varied by participant group.
Conclusions: When offering weekend passes, stroke care systems should carefully consider patients' and caregivers' readiness, emotional state, and preparation for weekend passes. The weekend pass experience can inform in-patient therapy, provide patients and caregivers with insight into life after stroke, and help prepare patients and families for the ultimate transition home.