A phenomenological understanding of the experiences of young adult stroke survivors.
Little is known of the experiences of young adults who have survived a stroke. This study explored the lived experiences of young adult stoke survivors. Four stroke survivors, between the ages of 18 and 37 years old were interviewed using an Email Facilitated Qualitative Interview schedule. The time elapsed since the participants' stroke was, on average, 4.5 years. The data was analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, which revealed five superordinate themes. These were (I) the initial response of shock and surprise, (2) frustration due to limitations, (3) perceived fear of judgment, ( 4) the significant role of family support, and (5) stroke as a journey of transformative learning. Overall participants described their experience in the recovery trajectory as exceptionally challenging and difficult; however, they viewed the stroke journey as a valuable learning experience. In support of the findings, it was recommended appropriate emotional, psychological and educational support be provided to young adult stroke survivors and their families.