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Rehabil Nurs. 1998 Jul-Aug;23(4):198-203.

Life after a stroke: coping with change.

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University of South Florida, Tampa 33612, USA.


Individuals who have had a stroke must cope with many changes in their lives. Initially, the focus is on the physical changes and functional abilities; however, coping with the emotional and cognitive changes also requires attention. Changes in mental status can affect a person's rehabilitation outcomes. This study describes the predominant themes related by stroke survivors that affected their recovery. Eleven right-hemisphere stroke patients (6 women and 5 men) were interviewed four times (at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months) after their stroke. The descriptions of personal changes, feelings, and experiences were categorized and analyzed for recurrent themes. The major mental changes were in mood, judgment, memory, and personality. At 6 months, the predominant themes were depression, memory loss, nervousness, irritability, frustration, lack of energy, and decreased initiative. These mental changes are important for nurses to consider when planning rehabilitation goals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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