Participants' Perspective of Engaging in a Gym-Based Health Service Delivered Secondary Stroke Prevention Program after TIA or Mild Stroke

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Oct 30;18(21):11448. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111448.


People who have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mild stroke have a high risk of recurrent stroke. Secondary prevention programs providing support for meeting physical activity recommendations may reduce this risk. Most evidence for the feasibility and effectiveness of secondary stroke prevention arises from programs developed and tested in research institute settings with limited evidence for the acceptability of programs in 'real world' community settings. This qualitative descriptive study explored perceptions of participation in a secondary stroke prevention program (delivered by a community-based multidisciplinary health service team within a community gym) by adults with TIA or mild stroke. Data gathered via phone-based semi-structured interviews midway through the program, and at the end of the program, were analyzed using constructivist grounded theory methods. A total of 51 interviews from 30 participants produced two concepts. The first concept, "What it offered me", describes critical elements that shape participants' experience of the program. The second concept, "What I got out of it" describes perceived benefits of program participation. Participants perceived that experiences with peers in a health professional-led group program, held within a community-based gym, supported their goal of changing behaviour. Including these elements during the development of health service strategies to reduce recurrent stroke risk may strengthen program acceptability and subsequent effectiveness.

Keywords: TIA; community health; mild stroke; physical activity; qualitative descriptive study; secondary stroke prevention; transient ischemic attack.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Health Services
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient* / prevention & control
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Stroke* / prevention & control