Open Access Open Badges Research article

Exploring views on long term rehabilitation for people with stroke in a developing country: findings from focus group discussions

Nor Azlin Mohd Nordin13*, Noor Azah Abd Aziz2, Aznida Firzah Abdul Aziz23, Devinder Kaur Ajit Singh1, Nor Aishah Omar Othman1, Saperi Sulong4 and Syed Mohamed Aljunid35

Author Affiliations

1 School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 United Nations, University-International Institute for Global Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4 Department of Health Information, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5 International Centre of Casemix and Clinical Coding, Universiti Kebangsaaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:118  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-118

Published: 10 March 2014



The importance of long term rehabilitation for people with stroke is increasingly evident, yet it is not known whether such services can be materialised in countries with limited community resources. In this study, we explored the perception of rehabilitation professionals and people with stroke towards long term stroke rehabilitation services and potential approaches to enable provision of these services. Views from providers and users are important in ensuring whatever strategies developed for long term stroke rehabilitations are feasible and acceptable.


Focus group discussions were conducted involving 15 rehabilitation professionals and eight long term stroke survivors. All recorded conversations were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the principles of qualitative research.


Both groups agreed that people with stroke may benefit from more rehabilitation compared to the amount of rehabilitation services presently provided. Views regarding the unavailability of long term rehabilitation services due to multi-factorial barriers were recognised. The groups also highlighted the urgent need for the establishment of community-based stroke rehabilitation centres. Family-assisted home therapy was viewed as a potential approach to continued rehabilitation for long term stroke survivors, given careful planning to overcome several family-related issues.


Barriers to the provision of long term stroke rehabilitation services are multi-factorial. Establishment of community-based stroke rehabilitation centres and training family members to conduct home-based therapy are two potential strategies to enable the continuation of rehabilitation for long term stroke survivors.

Stroke; Rehabilitation; Focus groups; Family-assisted therapy