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Impairments, and physical design and culture of a rehabilitation unit influence stroke survivor activity: qualitative analysis of rehabilitation staff perceptions


Janssen, H and Bird, M-L and Luker, J and Seller, B and Berndt, A and Ashby, S and McClusky, A and Ada, L and Blennerhassett, J and Bernhardt, J and Spratt, NJ, Impairments, and physical design and culture of a rehabilitation unit influence stroke survivor activity: qualitative analysis of rehabilitation staff perceptions, Disability and Rehabilitation pp. 1-6. ISSN 0963-8288 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/09638288.2021.2019840


Purpose: This study aimed to investigate rehabilitation staff perceptions of factors influencing stroke survivor activity outside of dedicated therapy time for the purpose of supporting successful translation of activity promoting interventions in a rehabilitation unit.

Materials and methods: Purposive sampling of multi-disciplinary teams from four rehabilitation units was performed, and semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone, digitally audio-recorded and then transcribed verbatim. A stepped iterative process of thematic analysis was employed until data saturation was reached.

Results: All but one of the 22 participants were female, the majority were either physiotherapists or occupational therapists, with a median of 4 years (interquartile range, 2-10) working at their respective rehabilitation units. Analysis of the data revealed three themes: (i) stroke survivor characteristics influence their activity outside therapy, (ii) the rehabilitation environment influences physical, cognitive, and social activity, and (iii) institutional priorities, staff culture, and attitude can be barriers to activity. Rehabilitation units were perceived to be unstimulating, and visitors considered enablers of activity when resources were perceived to be scarce.

Conclusions: Our results suggest careful consideration of the involvement of visitors, an individual's needs and preferences, and the institution's priorities and staff attitude may result in greater stroke survivor activity during rehabilitation. Implications for rehabilitation staff should consider stroke survivor impairments and a rehabilitation unit's institutional priorities and staff attitudes when aiming to enhance stroke survivor engagement in activity. The physical and social environment of a rehabilitation unit can be optimised by rehabilitation staff to promote activity. Utilisation of visitors of stroke survivors on a rehabilitation unit may be one way to enhance engagement in activity. Discussion within the rehabilitation team concerning "ownership" of the role of supporting stroke survivor activity outside of structured therapy time may support better engagement in same.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:activity, rehabilitation, stroke, implementation, activity, barriers, environment
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Bird, M-L (Dr Marie-Louise Bird)
ID Code:148717
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2022-02-04
Last Modified:2022-12-05

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