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Strokes

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Project Part 3: Final Report | David DonovanSS3150: Research MethodsAugust 24, 2014Andrea Johnson |

Qualitative Research
Question Introduction When it comes to dealing with stroke survivors the focus is always on the patient, how she will live, and the quality of her life. While dealing with these situations is the appropriate response it is also important to take into consideration that the patient is not the only one who had been affected by a stroke. This leads families and medical professionals alike by asking the question, how does a stroke impact the lives of the immediate family members of the stroke survivor? The aim of this study will be to determine the answer to this question by connecting how the changes in the quality of life for the survivor impact the lives of the immediate family.
Developed Research Methodology As the main care giver of a spouse who has survived multiple strokes, it means that I am known by other immediate family members of stroke survivors as one of them and consequently I am aware of what they are experiencing. Acting as a participant observer is the most logical methodology to use for answering this question. The rationale behind this is that in the referred to situation I am known as a member of the group that is being studied rather than as a researcher, which is definition of a participant observer (Dorsten & Hotchkiss, 2014). The main technique of direct data collection that I intend to use is conducting interviews. Interviewing the immediate family members of a stroke survivor will allow me to determine how the changes that occurred as a direct result of the stroke have impacted their lives. Additionally this technique will be useful in determining if the impact on the lives of immediate family members has influenced them in a positive or negative manner or if they have experienced both of these results.
The main method of indirect data collection that has been chosen to answer the qualitative research question that is posed in the paragraph above is unobtrusive observation. This technique will allow me to discreetly watch the behaviors of immediate family members as they interact with the stroke survivor (Dorsten & Hotchkiss, 2014). Watching these interactions will offer insight into how surviving a stroke has impacted the interpersonal relationship that immediate family members share with the stroke survivor. To ensure that the conclusions from the interviews and observations are not biased, due to my own personal experiences as an immediate family member of a stroke survivor, it is essential to compare my findings with those of others. Incorporating the information found in other printed or electronic materials in my conclusions uses content analysis, which is another indirect method of data collection (Dorsten & Hotchkiss, 2014).
Hypothesis of Results Based on my own experiences I hypothesize that further investigation into the proposed question will reveal that strokes not only affect the stroke survivor, but the family of the survivor as well. The results gathered through content analysis, interviews, and unobtrusive observations will reveal that there is a correlation between the quality of life for a stroke survivor and that of the immediate family members. These methods will also reveal that changes that the care giver needs to make can have both a positive and/or a negative impact on their life. Finally these methods will show that the changes that have occurred due to the stroke can impact all aspects of the immediate families’ lives, including such areas as social, emotional, financial, health, and interpersonal relationships.
Conclusion of Learning Through research and time I have learned that strokes change a person’s life forever. Sometimes surviving a stroke means taking away the things that survivor has become reliant on such as their ability to drive or work. More than two thirds of people who survive a stroke are disabled and are left being forced to relearn normal functions in order to get through daily life (Stroke Awareness Foundation, 2009). Lowered mobility, seizures, paralysis and even a change in the way foods taste are a few of the physical issues that may have to be endured. Emotional and behavioral changes can often occur as well, typically these could include changes such as an increased temper and mood swings. Communication, comprehension, reading and speech skills can also be affected, which often times makes it difficult for them to be understood by others. Some people may become extremely blunt and lose the ability to filter their comments appropriately. An example from personal experience in dealing with my wife post stroke is that she used to be very tactful and thoughtful of others feelings, but now she just says whatever it is that she is thinking with no regard for others. When a family member survives a stroke, the care givers quality of life undergoes changes as well in order to care for their loved one. This may mean giving up some freedoms within their lives and being on-call 24 hours a day as well as ensuring that there is someone who can be there quickly in case an emergency arises. For the immediate family members and the stroke survivor there are new things to be learned and changes that need to be made in everyday routines in order to cope with impacts of a stroke.

References
Associated Press. (2011, February). Strokes Rising Fast Among Young, Middle-Aged. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from FoxNews.com: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/02/09/strokes-rising-fast-young-middle-aged/
Bulley, C., Shiels, J., Wilkie, K., & Salisbury, L. (2010, November). Carer experiences of life after stroke – a qualitative analysis. Disability & Rehabilitation., 32(17), 1406-1413. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.itt-tech.edu/eds/detail?sid=a40224fd-5c8f-4b0e-b467-8111fa64c05a%40sessionmgr110&vid=7&hid=110&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPXVpZCZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d#db=afh&AN=52117764
Caswell, J. (2008). Gettin Active, Staying Active. Stroke Connection, 15-18.
Dorsten, L. E., & Hotchkiss, L. (2014). Research Methods and Society: Foundations of Social Inquiry. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Gosman-Hedström, G., & Dahlin-Ivanoff, S. (2012, September). 'Mastering an unpredictable everyday life after stroke'- older women's experiences of caring and living with their partners. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26(3), 587-597. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.itt-tech.edu/eds/detail?vid=19&sid=a40224fd-5c8f-4b0e-b467-8111fa64c05a%40sessionmgr110&hid=110&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPXVpZCZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d#db=afh&AN=78233843
Healing Vibrations. (2008). Stroke Connection, 6.
Let's Talk About Living at Home After Stroke. (2007). Retrieved September 16, 2008, from American Stroke Association: http://www.strokeassociation.org/idc/groups/stroke-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_309720.pdf
McPherson, C. J., Wilson, K. G., Chyurlia, L., & Leclerc, C. (2011). The caregiving relationship and quality of life among partners of stroke survivors: A crosssectional study. Health & Quality of Life Outcomes, 9(1), 29-38. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.itt-tech.edu/eds/detail?vid=12&sid=a40224fd-5c8f-4b0e-b467-8111fa64c05a%40sessionmgr110&hid=110&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPXVpZCZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d#db=afh&AN=62808128
Stroke Facts: Key Stroke Facts. (2011). Retrieved January 12, 2012, from Stroke Awareness Foundation: http://www.strokeinfo.org/signs-and-symptoms/stroke-facts/>.
Stroke In Children. (2008, Nov/Dec). Stroke Connection, 6.
Stroke In Children. (2012). Retrieved January 31, 2012, from American Heart and American Stroke Association: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/StrokeInChildren/Stroke- In-Children_UCM_308543_SubHomePage.jsp

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