Credentials Display

Robin A. Wenzel, OTD, OTR/L; Emily A. Zgoda, OTD, OTR/L; Mia C. St. Clair, OTD, OTR/L; Lisa Jean Knecht-Sabres, DHS, OTR/L


Background: Depression and anxiety can negatively impact one’s recovery, outcomes, and quality of life. Even though therapists consider the mental health needs of their clients to be a priority, they are dissatisfied with their ability to completely address these needs. The purpose of this study was to examine the client’s perspective regarding the extent to which health care professionals addressed their psychosocial needs after a stroke.

Method: A phenomenological research design was used to collect data from six participants. Interviews and focus group were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed. Member checks, peer-review, multiple coders, triangulation, and expert examination were used to increase trustworthiness of findings.

Results: Five themes emerged. People with strokes: (a) experience an array of emotions, (b) are not likely to initiate disclosure of their state of mental health, (c) feel their psychosocial needs are not being addressed by health care professionals, (d) grieve the loss of prior roles post stroke and work hard to establish a new normal routine and purpose in life, and (e) have suggestions for improved care.

Conclusion: These findings reinforce the importance of addressing the mental health needs of individuals post stroke and the importance of identifying methods to enhance the ability to effectively address the psychosocial needs of clients post stroke.


The authors report no potential conflicts of interest.