Towards a greater understanding of the experience of stroke: integrating quantitative and qualitative methods

This article reports on a study that uses both quantitative and qualitative methodological strategies to understand well-being following a stroke in later life. A quantitative approach is taken with a national survey of Canadian seniors to describe the patterns and correlates of well-being following stroke. Qualitative methods are then used in a separate sample of community dwelling stroke survivors to gain a greater understanding of the underlying meaning and processes by which a stroke affects well-being in later life. Integrated findings illustrate that physical and cognitive disabilities considerably limit the well-being of stroke survivors, largely due to the effects of disability on identity. Statistical interaction effects in the quantitative data indicate that social supports and educational resources moderate the adverse effects of physical disability on well-being. The qualitative accounts provide further insight into the dynamics of this buffering process. Together, both methods permit a more comprehensive understanding of subjective well-being following stroke. Keywords: Stroke; Quantitative and qualitative methods; Physical and cognitive disabilities