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J Rehabil Med. 2013 Jun;45(6):528-34. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1143.

"I am not living my life": lived experience of participation in everyday occupations after stroke in Tehran.

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Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Division of Occupational Therapy, Box 23200, SE-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden.



To describe and understand the lived experience and to identify what characterizes the phenomenon of participation in everyday occupations after stroke, in Tehran, Iran.


Eight individuals with stroke, who had previously been admitted to a neurological hospital ward in Tehran, were interviewed in-depth on one occasion. Data were collected and analysed using the Empirical, Phenomenological, Psychological method.


The findings identified 3 main characteristics of the phenomenon of participation in everyday occupations as being: (i) I cannot do activities as before; (ii) I am not the same person - discovery of a different self; (iii) I am not living my life.


Enabling participation after stroke within a client-centred paradigm in this socio-cultural context requires consideration of the essential meaning of this concept as characterized by the dynamic process between the characteristics of "doing", "identity", and "living life". The study highlights how the provision of efficient rehabilitation services in this Eastern context requires attention to both "doing" and to "identity" in rehabilitation interventions, in order to enable individuals to adapt to their new lives after stroke and to "live their lives".

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