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Title: Carers' and survivors' experiences following a stroke
Author: Littlewood, Abbie
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 9145
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores experiences related to stroke survival, firstly, from the perspective of stroke survivors themselves and secondly in the context of husbands caring for their wives post-stroke. The first chapter presents a meta-ethnography investigating stroke survivors’ experiences of their ‘identity’. Eighteen qualitative studies were identified for inclusion. Two major themes were identified: Loss of Self and Renewed Self. It was recognised that although survivors lost aspects of their identity, they were able to maintain a core sense of self and engage in a process of transformation, leading to a renewed self-identity. The findings highlight a need for greater sensitivity to the relationship between the nature of physical impairments and their interaction with psychological loss. Further recommendations are made relating to interventions to support survivors in the process of both continuity and transformation of the self. The second chapter reports a qualitative study exploring the experiences of husbands who provide care for their wives who have survived a stroke. Six husbands participated in semi-structured interviews. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences. Three superordinate themes were identified: Role-identity, Self-identity and Dyadic-identity. Husbands experienced changes to their roles and identity, an impact on their psychological wellbeing and changes in the connection with their wives. Three clinical implications are discussed, firstly, the carers should be supported to maintain their identity alongside the caring role, secondly, there is a need for a more supportive framework designed with the needs of male carers in mind, and thirdly, services need to recognise and address the issue of loneliness amongst informal carers. The third chapter is a reflective paper exploring the author’s experiences of the research process. This paper discusses their learning and development as a reflective scientist-practitioner and highlights action points to inform their future clinical and research practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; RC Internal medicine ; RT Nursing