Understanding the meaning of rehabilitation to an aphasic patient through phenomenological analysis - a case study

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Hjelmblink, Finn ; Bernsten, Cecilia B ; Uvhagen, Håkan ; Kunkel, Stefan ; Holmström, Inger (2010)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being (issn: 1748-2631, eissn: 1748-2631)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/qhw.v2i2.4950

Stroke patients with aphasia commonly suffer from distress related to their language deficit. They are often unable to express what they experience during their rehabilitation. Hence, the aim of this study was to reveal the meaning of rehabilitation to an aphasic person. With an approach based on the philosophy of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, two open-ended interviews were analysed through the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological (EPP) method. The essential structure of the meaning of rehabilitation to the informant was that he lived as being responsible in a dichotomised situation. The informant had to adapt his behaviour, thereby destroying his chances of normal interactions; he was supposed to train in a goaloriented way and believe in recuperation, but at the same time, he had to prepare himself and his next of kin for a failure. The defined impairment of aphasia misled both the informant and health care professionals to focus only language therapy, hence leaving the informant unsupported in other important aspects of the rehabilitation. Key words: Stroke, aphasia, case study, phenomenology, rehabilitation
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