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Article

Family Caregivers’ Experiences and Coping Strategies in Managing Stroke Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Exploration Study

1
Department of Community Medicine, Health Campus, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian 16150, Malaysia
2
Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK
3
Department of Social Work, Education and Wellbeing, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, New Castle NE7 7XA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020942
Received: 2 November 2021 / Revised: 29 December 2021 / Accepted: 13 January 2022 / Published: 14 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
Background: Stroke is a chronic disease that requires stroke survivors to be supported long-term by their families. This is especially because of the inaccessibility to post-stroke rehabilitation outside hospitals. The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis and the pandemic restrictions in Malaysia are expected to exponentially increase the demand from family caregivers in supporting stroke survivors. Thus, this study aims to explore the burden, experience, and coping mechanism of the family caregivers supporting stroke survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methodology: A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted from November 2020 to June 2021 in Malaysia. A total of 13 respondents were recruited from two public rehabilitation centers in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. In-depth interviews were conducted with the participants. Comprehensive representation of perspectives from the respondents was achieved through purposive sampling. The interviews were conducted in the Kelantanese dialect, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Three themes on burdens and experiences were identified. They were worsening pre-existing issues, emerging new issues, and fewer burdens and challenges. Two themes on coping strategies were also identified. They were problem-focused engagement and emotion-focused engagement. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the entire system of stroke management. While family caregivers mostly faced the extra burden through different experiences, they also encountered some positive impacts from the pandemic. The integrated healthcare system, especially in the era of digitalization, is an important element to establish the collaborative commitment of multiple stakeholders to compensate burden and sustain the healthcare of stroke survivors during the pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; stroke; family caregivers; burdens; experiences; coping strategies; public rehabilitation centers COVID-19 pandemic; stroke; family caregivers; burdens; experiences; coping strategies; public rehabilitation centers
MDPI and ACS Style

Haji Mukhti, M.I.; Ibrahim, M.I.; Tengku Ismail, T.A.; Nadal, I.P.; Kamalakannan, S.; Kinra, S.; Musa, K.I. Family Caregivers’ Experiences and Coping Strategies in Managing Stroke Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Exploration Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 942. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020942

AMA Style

Haji Mukhti MI, Ibrahim MI, Tengku Ismail TA, Nadal IP, Kamalakannan S, Kinra S, Musa KI. Family Caregivers’ Experiences and Coping Strategies in Managing Stroke Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Exploration Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(2):942. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020942

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haji Mukhti, Muhammad I., Mohd I. Ibrahim, Tengku A. Tengku Ismail, Iliatha P. Nadal, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Sanjay Kinra, and Kamarul I. Musa. 2022. "Family Caregivers’ Experiences and Coping Strategies in Managing Stroke Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Exploration Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 2: 942. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020942

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