This study was a qualitative study using a phenomenological approach, to explore stroke survivors’ needs and their perceptions of whether a community stroke scheme met these needs. Semi-structured in-depth interviews of 12 stroke survivors, purposively selected from participants attending a new community stroke scheme were completed. Interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews was undertaken by two researchers independently. Participants attending the community stroke scheme sought to reconstruct their lives in the aftermath of their stroke. To enable this they needed internal resources of confidence and sense of purpose to ‘create their social self’, and external resources of ‘responsive services’ and an ‘informal support network’, to provide direction and encouragement. Participants felt the community stroke scheme met some of these needs through exercise, goal setting and peer group interaction, which included social support and knowledge acquisition.
Stroke survivors need a variety of internal and external resources so that they can rebuild their lives positively post stroke. A stroke-specific community scheme, based on exercise, life-centred goal setting, peer support and knowledge acquisition, is an external resource that can help with meeting some of the stroke survivor’s needs.