Experiences and coping strategies 3 months post-stroke of patients in Harare and Chitungwiza: 3 months follow-up prospective study
Juliah, Marijeni Masocha
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Background and purpose: Problems encountered by survivors of stroke need to be adequately addressed to promote the individual’s well being. In Zimbabwe it is not known to what extent survivors of stroke are affected by disability resulting from stroke and whether the current services are adequate to address the challenges faced. There is also scarcity of documented information on coping methods used by victims of stroke. Therefore the main aim of the study was to determine experiences of a patient suffering from stroke in Harare and Chitungwiza three months post-stroke and how they cope with the challenges that they encounter. Methodology: A cross-sectional study design was used to carry out this study. Eighty (80) patients with a clinical diagnosis of stroke were conveniently recruited from Parirenyatwa, Harare and Chitungwiza Central Hospitals. Baseline information of participants was collected during recruitment and follow-up was done at 3 months. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to obtain information from participants. Results: The occurrence of stroke during the period under review at the three hospitals was higher in females (N = 56, 70%) than males (N = 24, 30%) ratio 2.3:1. The mean age of the participants was 60.6 years (SD 17.1). Thirty eight (47%) participants were found at followup, 27 (34%) had died and 15 (19%) were lost to follow-up. Physical problems e.g. mobility were common soon after stroke onset while psychosocial problems e.g traditional roles were more common at 3 months post-stroke. Family assistance, acceptance, changes in family roles and prayer helped most participants to cope with devastating effects of stroke. Conclusion and recommendations: Stroke can result in high fatalities. Health care team needs to focus on both the physical and psychosocial problems faced by a stroke survivor.