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

Northcott, S. & Hilari, K. (2017). “I’ve got somebody there, someone cares”: what support is most valued following a stroke?. Disability and Rehabilitation, 40(20), pp. 2439-2448. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1337242


Purpose: 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.

Methods: Adults with first stroke were recruited from a stroke unit, and participated in in-depth interviews 8-15 months post stroke. Framework Analysis was used to build thematic and explanatory accounts of the data.

Results: Twenty-nine participants took part. Main themes to emerge were: 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: 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.

Conclusions: As well as measuring supportive acts, researchers and clinicians should consider the manner and context of support.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article to be published by Taylor & Francis Group in Disability and Rehabilitation, to be available online:
Publisher Keywords: stroke; social support; family; friends; aphasia
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
R Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of valued support functions post stroke 13Jun2017.pdf]
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