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Global Meaning and Rehabilitation in People with Stroke

  • Elsbeth Littooij (a1), Joost Dekker (a1) (a2) (a3), Judith Vloothuis (a1), Guy A. M. Widdershoven (a3) (a4) and Carlo J. W. Leget (a5)...


A stroke can have implications for all areas of a person's life. In research on adaptation to stroke, finding meaning is associated with better adaptation. This study focuses on one of the driving principles behind meaning-making processes: global meaning. The aim of this study was to explore whether global meaning (i.e., fundamental beliefs and life goals concerning core values, relationships, worldview, identity and inner posture) is associated with processes and outcomes of rehabilitation, as experienced by people with stroke. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted, and analysed using qualitative research methods. Aspects of global meaning were associated with the following elements of process and outcome of rehabilitation: motivation, handling stress and emotions, physical functioning and acceptance. The influence was mostly positive. If rehabilitation professionals took global meaning into account, respondents tended to associate this with better or faster recovery.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Elsbeth Littooij, MA, Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Center Reade, PO Box 58271, 1040 HG Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail:


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