The Importance of Social Relationship and Support System after Stroke: A Qualitative Inquiry
Background: Stroke is currently the main cause of neurological disability in Nigeria. The impact of stroke can be devastating, leaving a person with significant residual impairment of physical, psychological, and social functions. The residual physical consequences can pose a significant threat to a survivor’s quality of life: yet, we have an incomplete understanding of how stroke affects long-term quality of life.
Objective: To develop a thorough understanding how essential social relationship and support systems are to enabling long-term QOL following stroke.
Methods: This study reports finding from an in-depth interview with 15 stroke patients to understand the importance of social relationship and support system as essential dimensions of long-term quality of life following stroke.
Results: The key themes identified by the patients were: social and instrumental supports, communication, autonomy, social role adjustments, sexual relationship and stigma. A lot of the interviews with the patients consisted of narratives regarding how stroke altered social relationships with families, spouses, friends and significant others.Conclusion: The finding of this study is consistent with the pre-existing researches attesting the importance of social relationship and support systems after stroke and therefore recommend including assessment of social functions and social support in estimating stroke-related quality of life.
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