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How do stroke survivors self-manage their life-career transitions?

Wilson, Carol Tracy

How do stroke survivors self-manage their life-career transitions? Thumbnail


Carol Tracy Wilson


Christine Roffe


Using the metaphor of life-thread, medical sociologists have drawn attention to the biographical disruption caused by stroke. However, there is little literature examining stroke-survivors’ (approaches to life-career transitions after acquiring a disability. The research presented in this paper sets to address this gap.

Interviews were conducted with four survivors of disabling strokes using the biographic narrative interpretative method (BNIM). Participants of either sex aged 31-70 years were 8 years or more post stroke and had persistent physical and cognitive symptoms. They were former professionals and had returned to their former work role, changed career direction, or decided not to return to paid work (RTW). The data were analysed combining interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) and framework analysis (FA).

Two major themes were identified. First, stroke-survivors experienced a number of transitions, which could be summarized as ‘Before’, ‘Becoming’ and ‘Beyond’ expressing concern about who their future self would be. Rather than progressing in a linear fashion, they ‘mini-cycled’, with selfawareness, and readiness for change determining self-management of their individual journeys. Second, stroke-survivors maintained commitment to ‘work,’ but views on what constituted ‘work’ changed over time. Retirement did not mean disengagement with ‘work’, rather the purpose of ‘work’ was redefined to incorporate portfolio careers, civic responsibilities, volunteering, family roles and study.

These findings suggest that stroke rehabilitation (SR) programmes need to adopt a wider perspective of life-career that reflects stroke-survivor’s interpretation of ‘work’. Given the cyclical nature of their journeys, interventions need to be flexible enough to support those in transition.


Wilson, C. T. (2024). How do stroke survivors self-manage their life-career transitions?. (Thesis). Keele University. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jun 25, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 1, 2024
Public URL
Award Date 2024-06


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