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School of Nursing





The purpose of this study was to describe the structure of meaning in the experience of surviving stroke for adults living in Appalachia.


This qualitative phenomenological study includes a sample of 6 adult survivors of ischemic stroke who were discharged from either a community or university hospital to home in the Appalachian region. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, transcribed, and analyzed thematically by two investigators. The explicated themes were verified by the survivors as representative of their experience.


Five main themes emerged: 1) Frustration with new physical and functional impairment, 2) Negative emotions including anger, guilt, loneliness, and depression 3) Need for accessible support, 4) Longing for home during recovery and, 5) Stepping forward after stroke which included sub-themes of perseverance, acceptance, and retraining. Anger was described as contributing to delayed recover and emotional lability was described as a source of anger. The familiarity of home was viewed as key to reestablishing control over one's life. Survivors described how they developed perseverance to move forward and emphasized that willingness to participate in retraining led to adapting to impairments. Acceptance was described as letting go of prior expectations of self and others so one could live in the present.

Source Citation

Theeke, L., Lucke-Wold, A. N., Mallow, J., & Horstman, P. (2017). Life after stroke in Appalachia. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 4(2), 105–111.


© 2017 Chinese Nursing Association. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.


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