An exploratory study of information exchange between stroke survivors/carers and health professionals.

  • Paula Beech

Student thesis: Phd


The University of ManchesterPaula BeechDoctor of PhilosophyAn Exploratory Study of Information Exchange between Stroke Survivors/Carers and Health ProfessionalsAugust 2012ABSTRACTStroke is the primary cause of adult disability in the UK. Those who have experienced stroke have a higher risk of a subsequent stroke. Stroke recovery has physical, emotional and social dimensions and impacts on family caregivers as well as stroke survivors. Getting the right information at the right time is put forward as instrumental in supporting recovery and preventing further stroke. The research literature demonstrates persistent uncertainty about the best way to provide information to stroke survivors and carers in practice.The aim of this study was to explore the processes, motivations and perceptions of the impact of information exchange between stroke survivors, carers and health professionals. A qualitative case study strategy was utilised for the study as this provided a flexible framework to incorporate multiple perspectives upon information exchange in the practice context. A single setting in, Salford, Greater Manchester, was used to study the phenomenon of information exchange from the perspectives of stroke survivors, carers and health professionals. Data collection included interviews with participants, observations of communication and documentary analysis. Data was analysed using the Framework analysis approach in order to compare and contrast perspectives across the different respondent groups and so develop study propositions to explain the data.There was much common ground amongst respondents in the thematic categories identified from the data, but subtle differences in emphasis on different topics. The key findings from this research are in two areas. Firstly, the challenges of incorporating a self-management philosophy into information exchange post stroke are substantial. This is because patients experience a variable recovery trajectory and have insufficient contact time with the professionals who they perceive as valid information providers. Second, the research raises questions of what is meant by tailored information in practice: the timing of information was a critical issue for survivors and carers along with the desire for appropriate support to utilise information effectively.These findings suggest a need to shift the focus of research from information provision to information exchange post stroke; to examine not the best way of providing information, but rather the best way of assessing individual need, and pacing provision tailored to these specific needs. This would require debate and consensus among the stroke community about the core underlying principles of information exchange, a reassessment of key time-points for sharing information and a re-examination of professionals ongoing development needs in communication skills to underpin this.
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAnn-Louise Caress (Supervisor) & Ian Davidson (Supervisor)


  • Stroke
  • Information exchange
  • Case study
  • Qualitative research

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