Enablers and barriers in hospital-to-home transitional care for stroke survivors and caregivers: a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
143 Downloads (Pure)


Aims and objectives: To synthesise qualitative research evidence on the experience of stroke survivors and informal caregivers in hospital-to-home transitional care. Background: Due to a shortened hospital stay, stroke survivors/caregivers must take over complex care on discharge from hospital to home. Gaps in the literature warrant a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies on perceived enablers and barriers during this crucial period. Design: A systematic review and meta-synthesis. Methods: A review was guided by Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research (ENTREQ) checklist where six databases were searched from April to June 2020 including CINAHL Plus, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus, Web of Science and ProQuest and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. There was no date limit to the search. Selected studies were critically appraised. A thematic synthesis approach was applied. Results: The synthesis of 29 studies identified three major findings. First, partnerships with stroke survivors/caregivers empower discharge preparation, foster competence to navigate health and social care systems and activate self-management capabilities. Second, gaps in discharge planning and the lack of timely postdischarge support contribute to unmet care needs for stroke survivors/caregivers and affect their ability to cope with poststroke changes. Third, stroke survivors/caregivers expect integrated transitional care that promotes shared decision-making and enables long-term self-management at home. Conclusions: Hospital-to-home transition is a challenging period in the trajectory of poststroke rehabilitation and recovery. Further research is required to deepen understandings of all stakeholders’ views and address unmet needs during transitional care. Relevance to clinical practice: Protocols and clinical guidelines relating to discharge planning and transitional care need to be reviewed to ensure partnership approach with survivors/caregivers in the design and delivery of individualised transitional care. Stroke nurses are in a unique position to lead timely support for survivors/caregivers and to bridge service gaps in hospital-to-home transitional care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2786-2807
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number19-20
Early online date19 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Stroke survivors
  • transitional care
  • nurse role
  • discharge
  • care needs
  • Meta-synthesis
  • Qualitative study
  • caregivers
  • role
  • meta-synthesis
  • qualitative research
  • nurses


Dive into the research topics of 'Enablers and barriers in hospital-to-home transitional care for stroke survivors and caregivers: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this