Aims and objectives. The aim of this study was to explore the nature of nursing care and rehabilitation of female stroke survivors, as described by hospital nurses. The objectives were to uncover how the nurses perceived the care of female stroke survivors and to explore whether, and in what way, the nurses paid attention to the fact that the patients were women.
Background. Nursing care is an important aspect of the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. Little attention has been paid to gender differences in the health care system in general and in the nursing profession in particular, although it is reasonable to think that gender issues may have important implications in the rehabilitation process following a stroke.
Design. Design was phenomenological with feminist perspective.
Methods. The nurses were interviewed in-depth. In the data analysing process we were inspired by Giorgi's phenomenological method.
Results. The nurses were focusing primarily on functional and practical aspects of the women's situation. They perceived the rehabilitation process predominately from a professional rather than the patient point of view, and from a non-conscious and primarily gender-neutral perspective.
Conclusions. The results indicate that the nurses perceived nursing care primarily in terms of practical actions to promote the body's functional and practical abilities. Little attention was directed to the stroke survivors’ experiences of their life body, nor to the fact that the patients were women.
Relevance to clinical practice. In order to promote care from the perspective of the female stroke survivors, we believe it is necessary to attend to the life experiences of the patient, which also mandates paying attention to how gender has an impact on their diseased bodies, every day life, values and preferences in the situation.