Stroke is emerging as the second leading cause of disability after HIV, and is a source of burden on the patient, relatives, friends, as well as consuming a great deal of health resources in South Africa (Kengne & Anderson, 2006:181). The onset of a stroke results in enduring changes in the lives of patients and caregivers, hence the objectives of this study constitute an investigation into the physical, psychological, social, religious and economic experiences of patients and caregivers following a stroke. In order to uncover changes experienced, an ecological perspective was used to explore a range of intertwining physical, social, emotional and economic problems. A collective case study design was used to gain a holistic understanding of how stroke patients and caregivers before acceptance. The study also revealed social consequences of stroke, which include disruptions to family relationships, sexual problems and inadequate support structures available. It became evident in this study that the suffering following a stroke is not limited to that experienced by the victims, as caregivers also experience burdens such as physical and mental strain. Spirituality acts as a source of support for both the patients and the caregivers. Lastly, patients and caregivers did not receive adequate information and support from the health system during the acute phase.
Recommendations from this study include provision of comprehensive stroke education for both the community and healthcare workers; establishment of protocol-driven multidisciplinary care within the hospitals and in the clinics; integration of continuity of care between hospitals and the clinics; provision of continued guidance, information and support to patients and their families; and lastly, delivery of holistic care, which entails a combination of physical therapy, psychosocial support, as well as economic and social resources. Research that could conclusively unravel the relationship between the patient s mental state and the caregiver s mental state is also recommended.experience the aftermath of stroke. This study explored and investigated this matter in detail through the administration of semi structured interviews with five stroke patients and five caregivers. The sample size varied from what the researcher targeted; variation depended on saturation. The data was analysed qualitatively by thematic analysis.
The study revealed that a stroke is a condition characterised by a sudden onset, and that its symptoms were not previously known to the participants. Findings exposed that patients and caregivers experience multi-faceted and profound physical, social, emotional, financial, and spiritual changes. Patients experience physical consequences, such as decreased mobility and communication problems. Physical disability consequently compromises patients functioning. The majority revealed that stroke caused them to be dependent as they could not resume their pre-stroke activities such as self-care, house work and going to work. Stroke furthermore caused patients to be emotionally distressed and to have to deal with a significant period of pain, confusion, hopelessness and depression
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2015.