The experiences and perceptions of individuals with stroke about the usefulness of the model of occupational self efficacy in a rural setting
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Individuals diagnosed with stroke particularly in rural communities have a poor return to work rate. Vocational rehabilitation has been used as an intervention strategy with various types of clients with disability or injury in order to improve their work skills. The aim of the proposed study is to describe the experiences and perceptions of individuals diagnosed with stroke about the usefulness of the Model of Occupational Self Efficacy in assisting them in returning to their worker role particularly in a rural setting. Eight participants were purposively selected from the data base of a local hospital and semi structured interviews were conducted with the participants until saturation occurred. Furthermore, two focus groups were conducted with eight participants. A key informant was also interviewed to assist the researcher with a different perspective and to avoid bias. The data was analysed by means of thematic analysis into codes, categories and themes. Trustworthiness was ensured by means of credibility, applicability, transferability and conformability. Informed consent and confidentiality was ensured. Permission was obtained from the UWC research committee and from the Department of Health. Four themes were merged from the findings: Theme one: Obstacles which affects the return to work of CVA Participants in a rural community. Theme two: Establishing a strong belief in functional ability through occupation. Theme three: Adaptation strategies that enhances the work participation of stroke survivors in a rural community. Finally Theme four: The MOOSE enables transition to the worker role in a rural context. The findings revealed that the participants experienced a loss of their former self thus affecting their worker identity as they were no longer able to experience the gratification of fulfilling their worker role. This was due to the participants not being aware of the return to work options that they had. After the stroke the participants battled with not only overcoming their condition but also the stigma which the community and their employers had of stroke. Overcoming the stroke event and returning to work required that potential barriers and facilitators be identified by the participants and the researcher. The study also identified adaptation strategies that the participants utilised in order to overcome the barriers and assist the participants to have a smoother transition into the workplace. In conclusion the findings of the study revealed that the participants suffer a loss of their former abilities and undergo a loss of their self-esteem. As a result of the loss, participants struggled to return to work not only due to their loss of abilities but also their lack of knowledge regarding return to work and stroke. The findings indicated that there should be more education regarding the stroke that needs to be conducted in communities via media such as local newspapers, local radio stations, clinics and hospitals. The findings of the study may assist Occupational Therapy practitioners to improve services in a rural community for stroke survivors and improve the facilitation of the return to work process after stroke. The MOOSE facilitates motivation for participants to regain their self-esteem and thus move forward to resume a worker role.
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