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Symptoms at stroke onset as described by patients: a qualitative study
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra Hospital, Gothenburg (SWE) Region Västra Götaland, Department of Medicine Geriatrics and Emergency Medicine/Östra, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg (SWE).
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for nursing - graduate level. Stroke unit, Department of Medicine, Skaraborg Hospital, Skövde (SWE); Skaraborg institute for Research and Development, Skövde (SWE). (LOVHH)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6454-9575
Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (SWE).
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra Hospital, Gothenburg (SWE) Region Västra Götaland, Department of Medicine Geriatrics and Emergency Medicine/Östra, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg (SWE).
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2024 (English)In: BMC Neurology, E-ISSN 1471-2377, Vol. 24, no 1, article id 150Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Stroke is a common and severe disease that requires prompt care. Symptom expressions as one-sidedweakness and speech difficulties are common and included in public stroke campaigns. For some patients stroke canpresent with subtle and less common symptoms, difficult to interpret. The symptom severity assessed by the NationalInstitutes of Health Stroke Scale has decreased, and symptoms at onset may have changed. Therefore, we aimed toinvestigate how patients describe their symptoms at the onset of a first-time stroke.

Methods:The study used a qualitative descriptive design and conventional content analysis. Data were collectedthrough recorded interviews with 27 patients aged 18 years and older hospitalised with a first-time stroke betweenOctober 2018 and April 2020. Data were analysed on a manifest level.

Results: Symptoms at stroke onset were presented in two themes: Altered Reality and Discomfort and Changed BodyFunctions and described in five categories. Various types of symptoms were found. All symptoms were perceivedas sudden, persistent, and never experienced before and this appear as a “red thread” in the result. Regardless ofsymptom expressions, no specific symptom was described as more severe than another.

Conclusions: Stroke symptoms were described with a variety of expressions. Many described complex symptomsnot typical of stroke, which can make it difficult to recognise the symptoms as a stroke and delay medical care. Publicstroke campaigns should emphasize the importance of seeking medical care at the slightest suspicion of stroke andcould be designed to help achieve this.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2024. Vol. 24, no 1, article id 150
Keywords [en]
Patients, Stroke, Symptoms, Interviews, Content analysis
National Category
Nursing Neurology
Research subject
NURSING AND PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE, Nursing science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-21578DOI: 10.1186/s12883-024-03658-4ISI: 001214661900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85191996914OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-21578DiVA, id: diva2:1859808
Funder
Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, 2018-0589
Note

CC-BY 4.0

Grants for this study were supported by the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation (Grant 2018 − 0589), the Agneta Prytz-Folke and Gösta Folke Foundation, the Swedish Stroke Association, the Swedish National Board of Health and Medical Care, region Västra Götaland and the Swedish state according to agreement between the Swedish Government and the County Councils Concerning Economic Support of Research and Education of Doctors (Grant ALFGBG-942665).

Available from: 2024-05-22 Created: 2024-05-22 Last updated: 2024-05-22

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