Everyday geographies of stroke survivors : a case study examining the relationship between activity space, health and well-being.

Date

2008-11-12T18:46:25Z

Authors

Sturge, Jodi L.

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Abstract

Although it is well known that stroke can be a very debilitating experience, little evidence exists in the literature about how well stroke survivors fare in the community after leaving the hospital. The purpose of this research study is to contribute a deeper understanding of the day-to-day experiences of stroke survivors living in the community and to investigate how the geographic concept of ‘activity space’ can be applied to understand their well-being and everyday experiences. The research design uses both spatial (i.e., geomatics) and qualitative analysis (i.e., analysis of narratives) in a case-study approach to examine well-being and the activity spaces of stroke survivors who live in two communities on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Primary data were collected through personal interviews with 21 stroke survivors who were recruited from Stroke Recovery Group populations in Victoria and Oceanside. Using self-rated health (SRH) as a measure of well-being, spatial behaviours and qualitative data were analyzed to illustrate the everyday experiences of stroke survivors. Geomatics, refers to the application of spatial analysis techniques was used to measure and evaluate the activity space of stroke survivors. Qualitative data were used to complement the spatial findings to provide insight into how the stroke itself, as well as personal experience and coping resources can impact a stroke survivor’s activity space. The spatial analysis is organized to highlight differences among stroke survivors on the basis of geography and SRH. Taken together, these results illustrate how a multi-method approach (i.e., spatial analyses in combination with narrative data) can be employed to understand the activity spaces and everyday experiences of stroke survivors. While illuminating the experiences of stroke survivors with life in their communities, this approach may also have utility in the study of other chronic illnesses.

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Keywords

Cerebrovascular disease, physical activity

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