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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 948791, 11 pages
Research Article

Younger Stroke Survivors' Experiences of Family Life in a Long-Term Perspective: A Narrative Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study

1Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1130, Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway
2Department of Nursing and Mental Health, Hedmark University College, P.O. Box 400, 2418 Elverum, Norway
3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Oslo University Hospital, P.O. Box 4950, Nydalen, 0424 Oslo, Norway
4Faculty of Health Science, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 4, St. Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway

Received 6 October 2012; Accepted 19 November 2012

Academic Editor: Linda Moneyham

Copyright © 2012 Randi Martinsen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The psychosocial consequences following a stroke are known to be challenging, influencing the stroke survivors’ ability to participate in and carry out the taken-for-granted roles and activities in family life. This study explored how living with the consequences of stroke impacted on family life in the late recovery phase, that is, six months or more after stroke onset. Twenty-two stroke survivors aged 20–61 years were interviewed in-depth six months to nine years after stroke onset. The interviews were analyzed applying a narrative, hermeneutic phenomenological approach. The findings revealed challenges that varied with time, from an initial struggle to suffice in and balance the relationships and roles within the family early after the stroke, towards a more resigned attitude later on in the stroke trajectory. The struggles are summarized in two main themes: “struggling to reenter the family” and “screaming for acceptance.” Nonestablished people living with stroke and stroke survivors in parental roles seem to be particularly vulnerable. Being provided with opportunities to narrate their experiences to interested and qualified persons outside the home context might be helpful to prevent psychosocial problems.