Gaining Perspectives of People With Stroke, to Inform Development of a Group Exercise Programme: a Qualitative Descriptive Study

Kitt, C
Wang, V
Saywell, N
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Journal Article
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New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists Inc

This study explored the perspectives on participation in group rehabilitation in the inpatient setting for people with moderate to severe stroke. A qualitative descriptive study using in-depth semi-structured interviews ascertained the experiences and impressions of participating in a group exercise programme. Six participants were interviewed, and analysis of the data identified four main themes: Loss of self; I can’t do it alone; Being part of the whole and Therapeutic approach in the context of personhood. These themes allowed identification of key components that may inform development of group exercise for people with moderate to severe stroke. People with moderate to severe stroke expressed feelings of loss of who they had been. Some were reluctant to join group exercise; the need to be part of a group was sometimes overwhelmed by doubt that they could participate in a meaningful way. Those who overcame their reluctance to join found a benefit in shared experience and mutual assistance to progress. The way they were treated and the degree their autonomy was respected by physiotherapists had a significant impact on their willingness to exercise and their enjoyment of group sessions. These findings will assist the development of a group programme to increase opportunities for activity in the inpatient stroke rehabilitation setting.

Stroke; Group exercise; Qualitative; Severity; Participation
New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 44(1): 58-64. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/44.1.07
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