The Bridges Stroke Self-Management program for Stroke Survivors in the Community: Stroke, Carer and HealthProfessional Participants’ Perspectives.

Suzanne McKenna, Suzanne Martin, Fiona Jones, Jackie Gracey, Shelia Lennon

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Objective: Self-management programs are considered to be one of the top priorities within health care and rehabilitation. Bridges is a stroke selfmanagement program based on self-efficacy principles that supports survivors to develop effective strategies for managing life after stroke. This study aimed toexplore with stroke survivors, carers and health professionals their experiences of using the Bridges stroke self-management program in addition to usual rehabilitation delivered by the community stroke team.Methods: A qualitative study using a purposive sampling method was used to recruit participants following stroke, who had been included in theintervention arm of feasibility randomised controlled trial, their careers and the health professionals who had delivered the Bridges programme. Interviews were conducted with eleven stroke survivors and two carers. Three health professionals took part in two focus groups. Inductive content analysis was conducted to explore key themes.Results: Five themes were identified: managing progress; personalised goal setting; greater understanding of recovery; ownership; and factors influencingnBridges such as timing; participant characteristics; and health professionals’ skills in delivering Bridges.Conclusion: This is one of the first qualitative studies to explore experiences of an individualised approach to supporting self-management. Support needs to be given to clinicians and patients’ to create a more collaborative selfmanagement approach. The Bridges program supports stroke survivors, and health professionals in providing more person-centred care. It was found to be beneficial and acceptable from the perspective of stroke survivors, carers and health professionals. Further evaluation of the Bridges self-management program is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1036
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Medicine and Rehabilitation - International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 6 Feb 2015


  • Stroke
  • Bridges self-management
  • Carers
  • Health professionals
  • Qualitative study


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