• stroke patients' relatives;
  • relatives' experiences;
  • relatives' needs;
  • hospitalization period

This study explores the experiences and needs of relatives of hospitalized stroke patients. In semi-structured interviews, 17 relatives of stroke patients were asked about their experiences during the hospitalization period. The interviews were analysed by thematic content analysis. The findings indicate that the experiences of the relatives change during the hospitalization period, and that they are influenced by four factors: the individual character of the relatives, the position of the patient, the people in the relatives' social environment and the hospital situation. Four categories of needs were also found: the need for information, communication, support and accessibility.