Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Sandra P. Thomas


Stroke survivors are a common patient population encountered in many areas of nursing practice. Although there are studies on particular aspects of stroke survivors' lives, the information provided is usually decontextualized and compartmentalized so that a sense of the whole person in his/her context is missing. Without a fuller understanding of the stroke survivors' complete experience, it is difficult for nurses to have an empathic understanding of what lies ahead. The purpose of this study was to investigate quality of life as experienced by stroke survivors following rehabilitation. This study was guided by an existential-phenomenological approach. The goal was to arrive at a thematic structure through analysis of in-depth interviews. The participants were 7 men and 7 women with a mean age of 64. The length of time since stroke ranged from I to 23 years, with a mode of 2 years. The participants exhibited a variety of disabilities, including 3 with nonfluent aphasia.

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