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Nurses lead on relationship advice for stroke victims

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Nurse researchers in Northern Ireland have produced a series of recommendations on helping stroke survivors overcome relationship problems that may result from the condition.

The researchers came up with the clinical practice recommendations after speaking to 16 married stroke survivors, nine males and seven females, aged between 33 and 78.

They found that sexual relationships were significantly affected after a stroke, gender roles became blurred and feelings such as anger and frustration were confounded by a lack of independence and ongoing fatigue.

‘All the participants perceived stroke as a life-changing event,’ said study author Hilary Thompson, who is based at Mullinure Hospital, Armagh, and carried out the research with Assumpta Ryan from the School of Nursing and Institute of Nursing Research at the University of Ulster.

‘They faced a continuous daily struggle to achieve some sense of normality and that required huge amounts of physical and mental effort,’ added Ms Thompson.

Journal of Clinical Nursing (2009) 18: 1803–1811

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