“I’ve got somebody there, someone cares”: what support is most valued following a stroke?

2017-06-19T13:16:03Z (GMT) by Sarah Northcott Katerina Hilari
<p><b>Purpose:</b> There is often a need for increased support following a stroke. This study explored what types of support are provided by different network members and what support functions are most valued.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> Adults with first stroke were recruited from a stroke unit and participated in in-depth interviews 8–15 months poststroke. Framework Analysis was used to build thematic and explanatory accounts of the data.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> Twenty-nine participants took part. Main themes to emerge were as follows: the spouse was the most important provider of support; children were a relatively stable source of support, although many participants expressed reservations about worrying a child; relatives and friends typically provided social companionship and emotional support rather than on-going practical support. The only universally valued support function was the sense that someone was concerned and cared. Other valued functions were as follows: social companionship including everyday social “chit chat”; practical support provided sensitively; and, for many, sharing worries and sensitive encouragement. The manner and context in which support was provided was important: support was easiest to receive when it communicated concern, and was part of a reciprocal, caring relationship.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> As well as measuring supportive acts, researchers and clinicians should consider the manner and context of support.Implications for rehabilitation</p><p>The manner in which support was provided mattered: support was easier to receive when it communicated concern.</p><p>The spouse was the most important source of all support functions; children, relatives and friends were important providers of emotional and social companionship support.</p><p>Researchers and clinicians should not only focus on what support is received, but also the context (e.g., contribution, reciprocity, quality of relationship) and manner (e.g., responsiveness, sensitivity) of the support.</p><p></p> <p>The manner in which support was provided mattered: support was easier to receive when it communicated concern.</p> <p>The spouse was the most important source of all support functions; children, relatives and friends were important providers of emotional and social companionship support.</p> <p>Researchers and clinicians should not only focus on what support is received, but also the context (e.g., contribution, reciprocity, quality of relationship) and manner (e.g., responsiveness, sensitivity) of the support.</p>