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Quality of life in stroke survivors living in Kuwait: health professionals’ perspectives

Quality of life after a stroke is affected by multiple factors, including the severity of impairment. There is little evidence concerning the factors that promote quality of life after stroke in Arab countries. The objective of this study was to explore the perceptions of health professionals working in stroke rehabilitation in the Gulf State of Kuwait regarding factors influencing quality of life among both Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti stroke survivors. A qualitative approach, based on semi-structured interviews, was used to explore perspectives on the stroke experience among 12 health professionals who were recruited through a large rehabilitation centre and further snowballing. All of them had current or recent stroke rehabilitation experience in Kuwait and represented a range of nursing and therapy backgrounds, and various nationalities and cultures. Inductive thematic analysis identified five major influences on the quality of life of stroke survivors,  namely function and dependency, relationships, quality of treatment and rehabilitation, reconnection with personal values and meaningful activities, and finances. In conclusion, several themes resemble those found inWestern studies, although certain financial issues may be specific to Kuwaiti culture. To provide holistic, culturally sensitive care and rehabilitation that enhance the quality of life of stroke survivors, health professionals need to be aware of their own values and those of their patients. There may be cultural differences in priorities afforded to factors such as occupation, relationships and finances.

Author(s): Onutobor Omu, Frances Reynolds

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