To document the gap between actual and desired ideal services for relatives post-stroke from three perspectives: relatives, stroke clients and health professionals.

A two-phase qualitative design and consisting of in-depth interviews (Phase 1) and 3 focus groups (Phase 2). The interview sample consisted of 25 relatives (mean age 53.4 (standard deviation 12.7); women = 21/25) and 16 individuals with a first stroke (mean age = 55.7 (standard deviation 11.2); women = 7/16). The focus group sample size varied from 5 to 7 participants. An interview guide validated by experts was used. Audio content was transcribed verbatim and rigorously analyzed by two team members.

Services received by relatives are diversified, and relatives’ perceptions range from receiving no services to being satisfied with services received. Even when participants were satisfied, ideal services were still desired: they would have liked to receive services earlier and without having to seek. Four main factors emerged as influencing the amount and quality of services received, including the individual’s ability to seek.

A gap remains between actual and ideal services for relatives post-stroke. It is crucial to legitimized relatives’ role as clients and to systematically assess the patient’s social environment in order to provide services in accordance with needs.


Rochette A, Racine E, Lefebvre H, Bastien J. (2014) Actual and ideal services in acute care and rehabilitation for relatives post-stroke from three perspectives: Relatives, stroke clients and health professionals. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 46(1), 16-22. doi:10.2340/16501977-1228