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Sense of well-being 10 years after stroke


  • Birgit Brunborg CandNursSci,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Nursing and Health, Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo, Norway
    • Correspondence: Birgit Brunborg, Associate Professor, Institute of Nursing and Health, Diakonhjemmet University College, P.O. Box 184 Vinderen, 0319 Oslo, Norway. Telephone: +47 90075934.


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  • Siri Ytrehus PhD

    1. Institute of Nursing and Health, Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo, Norway
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Aims and objectives

To describe factors that promote subjective well-being in a long-time perspective of 10 years after stroke.


The research literature describes circumstances that are difficult to deal with after a stroke, but there is relatively little knowledge of factors that contribute to well-being in a longer-time perspective than two years after the incident. This study focuses on such conditions in a 10-year perspective.


Qualitative study


Qualitative in-depth interviews were carried out with nine stroke survivors. The interviews addressed their description of factors accounting for adaptation and subjective well-being after the stroke. Kvale and Brinkmann's (2008, Interview. Sage Publications, Inc., København) guidelines for qualitative research informed the analysis.


Six major themes emerged from these analyses: (1) personal characteristics as the cause of positive adaptation to the new situation, (2) new meaningful activities, (3) new health habits, (4) social networks and family, (5) economical resources and (6) public help. Only a few of the survivors had received any home-based nursing care or health assistance, but they were nevertheless mainly satisfied with their rehabilitation outcome. Self-care, health literacy, stamina, a positive way of thinking and attention from family and friends seemed to be of immense importance for adaptation and well-being.


Personal characteristics and synergy with significant others seem to be the most important factors for having a good and long life after a stroke.

Relevance to clinical practice

The results of this study will contribute to rehabilitation planning and to understanding, assisting and supporting stroke survivors in restoring a good life despite disabilities after the stroke.