Original Research

The experience of living with stroke in low urban and rural socioeconomic areas of South Africa

M. Maleka, A.S. Stewart, L Hale
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 68, No 3 | a21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v68i3.21 | © 2012 M. Maleka, A.S. Stewart, L Hale | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 2012 | Published: 11 December 2012

About the author(s)

M. Maleka, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
A.S. Stewart, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
L Hale, University of Otago, New Zealand, New Zealand

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Abstract

The effects of stroke on stroke survivors are profound and affecttheir quality of life. The aim of this study was to establish the experience of peopleliving with stroke in low socioeconomic urban and rural areas of South Africa.A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was used to collect data.Participants were identified from stroke registers and recruited from PHC clinicsin Soweto, Gauteng and Limpopo provinces. Participants had to have had a stroke,be above the age of 18 and had lived in the community six months to a year followingtheir stroke. The researcher or research assistant conducted the interviews ofparticipants who had had strokes as well as their caregivers in the home language of the participants. The interviewswere audio taped, transcribed and translated into English. A thematic content analysis was done.Thirty two participants were interviewed, 13 from Soweto, Gauteng, and 19 from rural Limpopo provinces. Theresults suggest that the sudden, overwhelming transformation as a result of a stroke forms a background for loss ofcommunity mobility, social isolation, role reversal within the family and community, loss of role within the family andcommunity, loss of meaningful activities of daily living, loss of hope and threat to livelihood amongst stroke survivorsliving in low socioeconomic areas of South Africa.An overwhelming picture of despondency was found, with few positive stories told in both settings. The themesidentified from the interviews reflected the experience and issues that a patient with stroke has to deal with in lowsocioeconomic areas of South Africa.

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Crossref Citations

1. Environmental factors influencing participation of stroke survivors in a Western Cape setting
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African Journal of Disability  vol: 4  issue: 1  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4102/ajod.v4i1.198