Perception and Management of Stroke Warning Signs in Persons with Stroke
Keywords:perception, symptom management, warning signs, stroke, qualitative research
AbstractThis qualitative research aimed to explain perception and management of stroke warning signs in 20 persons with stroke of a primary care unit (PCU), Phatum-thani province, from December 2009 to July 2010. Data were collected by focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and participant observation. Qualitative data were analyzed by thematic analysis. Results revealed that perception and management of stroke warning signs comprised of 2 phases: (1) The phase before persons becoming aware of the stroke warning signs: persons usually perceived the warning signs as “the symptoms normally found… in any person,” “the symptoms of an ailment … due to the stiffness and hardening of tendons,” ”the non-speciﬁ c symptoms…due to an unfortunate life,” “a thing…results from karma (past life),” “the symptoms of a paresis-paralysis,” and “an abnormal symptom…that of unknown origin.” These perceptions led to various self-management strategies, such as, getting back to normal life, controlling or relieving the symptoms by themselves, alleviating the causes of illness, making the good karma, and seeking hospital care; and (2) The phase after becoming aware of the stroke warning signs: persons with stroke warning signs perceived and managed the warning sign of stoke based on symptoms’ severity and the illness trajectory. Four types of perceptions were: 1) Fear of death - fear of having the disease; 2) Getting-hope - not the disease; 3) Accept - Let go; and 4) Lifestyle changes. Various self-management strategies used were: ﬁ ghting with disease for life; seeking various self-management strategies; living a happy life; combining multiple self-management strategies. This study suggests that healthcare professionals should be aware of perceptions and management of stroke warning signs from the perspectives of persons with stroke warning signs in order to be used as the guidelines for assessing and managing stroke warning signs in persons with stroke warning signs at an early stage.
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