Participants' perspectives on the feasibility of a novel, intensive, task- specific intervention for individuals with chronic stroke: A qualitative analysis

Angela R. Merlo, Ashley Goodman, Bruce A. McClenaghan, Stacy L. Fritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background. Evidence-based practice promotes patient-centered care, yet the majority of rehabilitative research fails to take patient perspectives into consideration. Qualitative research provides a unique opportunity for patients to express opinions and provide valuable insight on intervention processes. Objective. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of a novel, intensive, task-specific intervention from the patient's perspective. Design. A phenomenological approach to qualitative inquiry was used. Methods. Eight individuals with chronic stroke participated in an intensive intervention, 3 hours per day for 10 consecutive days. Participants were interviewed twice regarding their impressions of the therapy, and a focus group was conducted with participants and family members. Data analysis included an analytical thematic approach. Results. Five major themes arose related to the feasibility of the intervention: (1) a manageable amount of fatigue; (2) a difficult, yet doable, level of intensity; (3) a disappointingly short therapy duration; (4) enjoyment of the intervention; and (5) muscle soreness. Conclusions. The findings suggest that participants perceived this novel and intensive, task-specific intervention as a feasible therapeutic option for individuals with chronic stroke. Despite the fatigue and muscle soreness associated with intensive rehabilitation, participants frequently reported enjoying the therapy and stated disappointment with the short duration (10 days). Future research should include a feasibility trial of longer duration, as well as a qualitative analysis of the benefits associated with the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this