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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 626538, 8 pages
Research Article

Factors Affecting the Ability of the Stroke Survivor to Drive Their Own Recovery outside of Therapy during Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation

1Division of Physiotherapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Queensland, Australia
2Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast 4222, Queensland, Australia
3Allied Health Research Collaborative, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane 4132, Queensland, Australia

Received 29 November 2013; Revised 2 February 2014; Accepted 17 February 2014; Published 27 March 2014

Academic Editor: Alexander C. H. Geurts

Copyright © 2014 Xue Wen Eng 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.


Aim. To explore factors affecting the ability of the stroke survivor to drive their own recovery outside of therapy during inpatient rehabilitation. Method. One-on-one, in-depth interviews with stroke survivors () and their main carer (), along with two focus groups with clinical staff (). Data was thematically analysed according to group. Results. Stroke survivors perceived “dealing with loss,” whilst concurrently “building motivation and hope” for recovery affected their ability to drive their own recovery outside of therapy. In addition, they reported a “lack of opportunities” outside of therapy, with subsequent time described as “dead and wasted.” Main carers perceived stroke survivors felt “out of control … at everyone’s mercy” and lacked knowledge of “what to do and why” outside of therapy. Clinical staff perceived the stroke survivor’s ability to drive their own recovery was limited by the lack of “another place to go” and the “passive rehab culture and environment.” Discussion. To enable the stroke survivor to drive their own recovery outside of therapy, there is a need to increase opportunities for practice and promote active engagement. Suggested strategies include building the stroke survivor’s motivation and knowledge, creating an enriched environment, and developing daily routines to provide structure outside of therapy time.