Hope in people with aphasia
Bright, FAS; Kayes, NM; McCann, CM; McPherson, KM
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Background: Hope is considered to be important for health, recovery, and rehabilitation outcomes in a range of healthcare populations. Little is known about hope in people following stroke, and even less is known about hope in people with aphasia following stroke as they are commonly excluded from research in this field. Aims: This study aimed to explore how hope was experienced by people with aphasia following stroke during the post-acute period of rehabilitation, and to identify factors influencing the experience of hope. Methods & Procedures: This study utilised an Interpretive Description methodology. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with five people with aphasia. Supported conversation techniques were used to facilitate full contribution of participants. Data were analysed using a number of approaches—coding, thematic analysis, narrative construction, diagramming, and memoing. Outcomes & Results: Hope was experienced in two ways. Simply ‘having’ hope was a broad but passive sense of hope which appeared to be the primary, constant form of hope. Actively hoping was an active, future-oriented form of hope that was experienced intermittently by participants. The experience of hope appeared dynamic and complex and seemingly influenced by three primary factors: uncertainty about the future; viewing hope as double-sided; and a sense of disruption. These were in turn influenced by a person's past experiences, present reality and perceived future. Conclusions: Hope is considered important by people with aphasia. It appears related to how people engage in rehabilitation and may be influenced by clinicians. As such, it is a concept that therapists should be aware of. Suggestions for how clinicians may consider and address hope are provided and discussed.