Risk, Uncertainty and Life Threatening Trauma: Analysing Stroke Survivor's Accounts of Life after Stroke

Alaszewski, Andy and Alaszewski, Helen P. and Potter, Jonathan (2006) Risk, Uncertainty and Life Threatening Trauma: Analysing Stroke Survivor's Accounts of Life after Stroke. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1438-5627. (Full text available)

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Abstract

This paper examines the ways in which stroke survivors identify and manage the risks and uncertainties of their situation. It draws on interview data from a UK study in East Kent of 31 stroke survivors (aged between 38 and 89 years). The interviews created accounts based on the experience of stroke and post stroke recovery. Stroke survivors experienced their stroke as an unanticipated event in which there was a failure of foresight. The stroke undermined their ontological security and increased their awareness of and anxiety about everyday activities both in and outside the home, created awareness of a new danger, that of having another potentially fatal stroke, and could damage their social standing. Survivors used a variety of strategies to manage such uncertainties. They shortened their time horizons, either abandoning longer-term plans or discussing them in very vague and general terms. They concentrated either on the present, "taking each day as it comes" or developed goals to structure the short-term future. These short-term goals involved challenges and there was in some cases the possibility of a harmful outcome. Such voluntary risk-taking provided an opportunity for "centre work" which could re-establish the stroke survivors social standing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: stroke, stroke recovery, risk, risk-taking, time, uncertainty
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2008 15:14
Last Modified: 06 May 2014 15:58
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/3579 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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