experiences, follow-up needs, health services, hermeneutic-phenomenological analysis, long-term, midlife, psychosocial, rehabilitation, stroke survivors, young



  1. Martinsen, Randi
  2. Kirkevold, Marit
  3. Sveen, Unni


ABSTRACT: The aim of this qualitative study was to explore young and midlife stroke survivors' experiences with the health services and to identify long-term follow-up needs. Sixteen participants from two cohorts were interviewed in-depth. The interviews were analyzed applying a hermeneutic-phenomenological analysis. The participants struggled to gain access to follow-up health services. They felt that whether they were systematically followed up was more coincidental than planned. Young and midlife stroke survivors thus appear vulnerable to falling outside the follow-up system. Those participants who received some follow-up care perceived it as untailored to their specific needs. To be considered supportive, the follow-up programs must be in line with their long-term needs, take into account their particular challenges as young and midlife stroke survivors, and be planned in close collaboration with the individual patient. To secure systematic and follow-up health services tailored to the individual, knowledgeable and committed healthcare professionals should play a prominent role within the community health services.