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Understanding stroke survivors’ and informal carers’ experiences of and need for primary care and community health services—a systematic review of the qualitative literature: protocol
  1. N A Aziz1,2,
  2. D M Pindus1,
  3. R Mullis1,
  4. F M Walter1,
  5. J Mant1
    1. 1Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    2. 2Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UKM Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    1. Correspondence to Dr Dominika Pindus; D.M.Pindus{at}


    Introduction Despite the rising prevalence of stroke, no comprehensive model of postacute stroke care exists. Research on stroke has focused on acute care and early supported discharge, with less attention dedicated to longer term support in the community. Likewise, relatively little research has focused on long-term support for informal carers. This review aims to synthesise and appraise extant qualitative evidence on: (1) long-term healthcare needs of stroke survivors and informal carers, and (2) their experiences of primary care and community health services. The review will inform the development of a primary care model for stroke survivors and informal carers.

    Methods and analysis We will systematically search 4 databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL for published qualitative evidence on the needs and experiences of stroke survivors and informal carers of postacute care delivered by primary care and community health services. Additional searches of reference lists and citation indices will be conducted. The quality of articles will be assessed by 2 independent reviewers using a Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. Disagreements will be resolved through discussion or third party adjudication. Meta-ethnography will be used to synthesise the literature based on first-order, second-order and third-order constructs. We will construct a theoretical model of stroke survivors’ and informal carers’ experiences of primary care and community health services.

    Ethics and dissemination The results of the systematic review will be disseminated via publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at a relevant conference. The study does not require ethical approval as no patient identifiable data will be used.


    This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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