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A qualitative study of the consequences of 'hidden dysfunctions' one year after a mild stroke in persons <75 years.

Journal article
Authors Gunnel Carlsson
Anders Möller
Christian Blomstrand
Published in Disability and rehabilitation
Volume 26
Issue 23
Pages 1373-80
ISSN 0963-8288
Publication year 2004
Published at Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Pages 1373-80
Language en
Keywords Adult, Affective Symptoms, etiology, Anxiety Disorders, etiology, Cerebrovascular Accident, complications, psychology, rehabilitation, Decision Making, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Fatigue, etiology, Middle Aged, Qualitative Research, Quality of Life, Stress, Psychological, etiology, Syndrome
Subject categories Neurology, Occupational Therapy, Applied Psychology, Disability research


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Increased mental fatiguability, concentration and memory difficulties, irritability, emotional instability, impaired stress tolerance, and sound and light sensitivity, in this paper operationalized through the astheno-emotional syndrome (AE syndrome) are known consequences of stroke. The aim of this study was to explore how persons with AE syndrome, one year after a mild stroke, experienced the consequences of the syndrome in everyday life. METHOD: A qualitative design was used. Fifteen respondents were chosen by strategic sampling and interviewed. The analysis was done using a grounded theory method. RESULTS: Data analysis yielded harmed/threatened self as the core category with four main categories covering the dimensions of: hidden-apparent dysfunction, predictability-unpredictability, independence-dependence and active life-passive life. The model grounded in data shows the structural properties and the processes that verify the dynamics and interactions of the everyday life consequences of AE syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: AE syndrome with mental fatiguability as the most common symptom affected many dimensions of everyday life, which in turn affected performance of activities and independence. The symptoms were 'hidden' in many ways, not only indetectable in the appearance of the person, but also on a more symbolic level not apparent to the patient and persons in their environment. The symptoms changed with environmental circumstances and were experienced as unpredictable.

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