Stroke survivor's perceptions of 'In-Reach' and community exercise programmes: A qualitative focus group study
(2016) Stroke survivor's perceptions of 'In-Reach' and community exercise programmes: A qualitative focus group study, no. 25.
Question: What are the experiences and perceptions of community-dwelling stroke survivors regarding the hospital-based In-Reach service and community based classes? Design: Secondary analysis of qualitative study data collected by focus group. Participants: Six people post stroke were enrolled in a hospital-based In-Reach project and participated in a focus group interview. Results: Focus group (FG) data were closely similar and four main themes emerged: quality of life post stroke, motivation, support, and service satisfaction. The In-Reach service and community classes were described overall as positive, with ascribed benefits in everyday activity, ability to resume previously valued activities leading to increase in active participation in life. All participants voiced a need for ongoing exercise sessions to maintain new found abilities. Patient-tailored or group exercise programmes, peer support and Leisure Centre location were all important determinants in exercise uptake. Several barriers to physical activity were identified, however they did not have an impact on participants' motivation to participate in an exercise programme. People with positive beliefs about their capabilities demonstrated improved feelings of control, self-efficacy and engagement in physical activity (PA). Conclusion: Participants reported a positive impact on function and participation in life post-stroke. The opportunity for regular exercise started soon after the stroke event with peer and professional support in a suitable venue. Exercise and healthier behaviour appear to be important determinants for enhanced recovery in the long term. This study indicates a need for further examination of the long-term impact of the exercise programme.