Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 1025-9848
With the increasing prevalence of people in developing countries who suffer strokes, the long-term care of people who have had a stroke and who are living with disabilities has substantial consequences for caregivers and their respective families. As the caregiver plays a pivotal role in the rehabilitation of the people who have had a stroke, the objectives of this study constitute an investigation into the complexities of caregiving, including both perceptions and experiences of the healthcare system. Semi-structured interviews were utilised to elicit post-stroke experiences of six caregivers. The challenge the South African context adds to these experiences was probed. The data were analysed qualitatively by thematic and content analysis. Prominent themes associated with caregiving included: role changes and relationship disruptions within the family, occupational and social implications, fatigue, anxiety, depression, loneliness, frustration as well as financial problems. Caregiver experiences were exacerbated by the inadequate support structures available. The results are interpreted within a biopsychosocial approach, concluding with the concerns raised by caregivers on the support they require from the healthcare system in order to provide home-based care.
Keywords : stroke; perceptions; caregivers; content analysis.