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Riqiea F. Kitchens, PhD, OTR, BCPR, CSRS; Gayle Hersch PhD, OTR; Wayne Brewer PT, PhD, MPH; Marsha Neville PhD, OT


Background: Occupational Adaptation occurs when a person develops a response to meet an occupational challenge. This process is disrupted when a person experiences a life altering event, such as stroke. Stroke self-management programs equip persons with stroke with education and skills to manage the daily tasks associated with their condition. Few studies have explored the adaptive process survivors experience as they seek to effectively use the tools provided through stroke self-management programs. The objective was to explore the adaptive process of three individuals following participation in a stroke self-management program.

Method: A multiple case study design was used. Three participants completed an interview focused on their adaptive experiences as they learned to self-manage personal stroke risk factors. Each case study interview was analyzed to identify themes across cases.

Results: Four themes were identified: (a) knowledge acquisition to generate an adaptive response, (b) behavioral change and adjustment in routines, (c) increased proactivity and personal responsibility and, (d) vvaluating the adaptive response-Physiological and emotional changes in health.

Conclusion: The participants’ increased awareness and understanding of personal stroke risk factors facilitated the adaptive process, which resulted in increased efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, and engagement in health promoting behavior to self-manage their stroke condition.