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Older men are more likely to have a stroke that can negatively affect their life. The purpose of this meta-synthesis was to bring together knowledge from qualitative studies focused on the experiences of older men following a stroke to form a new interpretation of this research field. Eligible studies published in English from January 2010 to December 2019 were identified from Medline, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. The main keywords were: stroke, male patient, older males, men with stroke, and qualitative research. Themes were identified through inductive and interpretative technique from each study and independently reviewed by another reviewer. This review included seven qualitative studies.
The literature described older men’s experiences following a stroke in five themes: (1) living in a different world, (2) breaking down of role fulfillment and relationships, (3) feeling down due to a difficult life, (4) embracing an uncertain future, and (5) adapting to the new world. The literature reviewed suggests that older men who have experienced a stroke face sudden and dramatic changes in their physical, emotional, and cognitive capabilities. Nevertheless, older men might undergo this transition more easily through the use of coping strategies and reconciliation of their self-identity. Stroke rehabilitation interventions related to concepts of masculinity need to be developed. Nurses should develop nursing interventions that including providing advice to older men about stroke strategies which help them to better cope with this life-changing event. The components of interventions need to be aligned with an individual’s experiences and the stroke’s impact on their life. Further studies need to explore how older men manage to overcome barriers to life adjustment after stroke.
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