gms | German Medical Science

15th Congress of the European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation (EFRR)

15.04. - 17.04.2019, Berlin

“It was never too much”: Stroke survivors’ and their carers’ experiences with augmented arm rehabilitation

Meeting Abstract

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15th Congress of the European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation (EFRR). Berlin, 15.-17.04.2019. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2019. Doc026

doi: 10.3205/19efrr026, urn:nbn:de:0183-19efrr0264

Published: April 16, 2019

© 2019 Schnabel et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background: Half of stroke survivors with arm impairment still have problems 4 years post stroke. Evidence suggests that at least 20 hours of additional task-specific training after stroke may improve arm function. This dose cannot be provided by the health service therefore self-management is encouraged. However little is known about the acceptability of augmented arm rehabilitation from the perspective of stroke survivors and their carers.

This presentation focuses on the perspectives of stroke survivors and their carers who participated in a feasibility study, comparing an early (beginning at 3 weeks post stroke) and later (beginning at 3 months post stroke) augmented arm rehabilitation intervention.

Aim: This study explored stroke survivors’ and their carers’ perceived acceptability of the augmented (incl. self-managed) arm rehabilitation.

Method: The qualitative design comprised 17 semi-structured interviews with stroke survivors and their carers (if present) after intervention completion. Interviews were conducted in participants’ homes or at the University. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim. Normalisation Process Theory was used to develop the topic guide and framework analysis was used to analyse the transcripts.

Results/findings: The augmented arm rehabilitation was perceived as a positive experience in particular the intensity of the therapy, the frequency of the therapist-led sessions, the practical nature of the exercises and the self-management component. Most stroke survivors and their carers coped well with the intensity, embedding exercises into a daily routine through supported self-management.

Discussion and conclusions: Stroke survivors and their carers felt the intervention intensity was acceptable and embedding exercises into their daily routine was vital to their self-management.