“This is our life now. Our new normal”: A qualitative study of the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors

Alexandra M.J. Denham, Olivia Wynne, Amanda L. Baker, Neil J. Spratt, Alyna Turner, Parker Magin, Heidi Janssen, Coralie English, Madeleine Loh, Billie Bonevski

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Many stroke survivors require care from informal carers such as family members and friends who may experience adverse impacts. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors, and their preferences for interventions and support services. We conducted 24 semi-structured, qualitative interviews with carers of stroke survivors from the Hunter region, Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was used in the context of a needs-led framework to identify key themes of their unmet needs. Key unmet needs identified by carers of stroke survivors in this study centred on four main themes: (1) social relationships and support; (2) adequacy of information; (3) taking care of oneself; and (4) accessing appropriate services. Carers of stroke survivors desired the development of services which provide connectivity to information, training, education and community support; and inclusion in a community with social relationships and other carers of stroke survivors. Ongoing unmet needs often result in adverse health and quality of life outcomes for carers of stroke survivors. Co-designed programs and resources for carers, particularly relating to unmet needs in social, information, self-care and service access domains are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0216682
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Stroke survivors
  • carer burden
  • Carer support
  • qualitative interviews


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