Washington, Mar 15 ANI | 4 months ago

New research suggests that dreams of returning to everyday life as it was before the stroke may contribute to the patients' experiences of fatigue and that it may be a help to establish new routines instead of trying to regain old ones.


"Having a stroke can be a devastating experience, and those affected by one often feel that their lives are turned upside down. For many patients, life after a stroke is therefore about reestablishing life as it was before the stroke. But this is very rarely possible and thus a source of frustration for stroke patients," ethnologist Michael Andersen from University of Copenhagen, said.

Andersen's PhD thesis was carried out in collaboration with a Danish hospital, where doctors found it hard to find a correlation between the size or the impact of the stroke and the individual experiences of fatigue. He located other potential reasons for the fatigue than the patients' brains - their everyday lives.

When interviewing the patients Andersen noticed that they no longer related their fatigue to the same objects or actions as they did pre-stroke.

"In our everyday lives we link fatigue with specific objects or actions which we hardly even notice; it can be a bed or making a cup of tea in the evening. After a stroke, many patients feel constantly fatigued without being able to locate it," Andersen said.

According to him, locating fatigue in other objects and actions than before can be a successful approach when trying to restore an everyday life - not the same as before, but a completely new one.

Andersen suggests that stroke patients might learn to cope with their fatigue if they - in collaboration with their own doctor - learned to think of fatigue in relation to specific objects or actions. This could frame the patients' fatigue so it does not become a phenomenon defining their lives.

(Posted on 15-03-2014)