Older Adults' Descriptions of Hope After a Stroke

Authors

  • Cathy L. Bays PhD RN

    Corresponding author
      555 S. Floyd Street, Louisville, KY 40292 or clbaysOI@gwise.louisville.edu.
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    • Cathy L. Bays is an assistant professor at the University of Louisville School of Nursing in Louisville, KY.


555 S. Floyd Street, Louisville, KY 40292 or clbaysOI@gwise.louisville.edu.

Abstract

This descriptive, qualitative study explored the phenomenon of hope and associated factors in older adults who have experienced a stroke. The research questions were (a) What are the patterns of hope manifested by older adults after a stroke? and (b) What are the factors associated with their patterns of hope after the stroke? Participants were a convenience sample of nine stroke survivors who were participating in a stroke support group. Patterns of hope they described were positive anticipation, active participation, forward moving process, inner sense/strength, faith in God, continuing to hope, relative comparison, life-sustaining realistic possibilities, connectedness, previous abilities, and mobility. Factors associated with hope patterning were family connectedness, spiritual connectedness, and goal achievement. Implications for nursing practice included the life-sustaining value of hope, benefits of stroke survivors telling their stories and knowing study results, the delicate balance between caregiver involvement and burden, and the influence of spirituality. Recommendations for further research focus on longitudinal investigations of stroke survivors' experiences, the relation between hope and stroke recovery, and outcome studies of stroke survivors who use hope-fostering strategies.

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