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Can J Occup Ther. 2009 Apr;76(2):81-9.

Stroke patients' experience with the Australian health system: a qualitative study.

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Hunter Stroke Service, Hunter New England Area Health Service, NSW, Australia.



Consumer feedback about experiences with the health system is integral to service planning and is consistent with growing interest in patient-centred care.


To explore the experiences of community-dwelling stroke survivors at one, three and five years using a community-based, cross-sectional study.


The quantitative study was comprised of 90 participants post-stroke (3 cohorts, each including 30 participants). Qualitative interviews were undertaken with 12 participants (4 participants from each cohort). This paper presents findings from the qualitative component of the project.


The majority of participants in each cohort were independent and a high proportion required community services. Qualitative data identified varied experiences with the health system, including knowledge about stroke, communication with the health system, and influences on transition home.


The results presented identify the need for ongoing health professional education to enhance stroke service delivery. There is a particular need to address stroke risk-factor modification and to ensure close collaboration with patients and other health professionals with regard to rehabilitation processes. Results identify experiences with health systems up to five years post-stroke. Occupational therapy can play an essential role in post-stroke education and in rehabilitation focused on adjustment to stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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