Factors which influence risk taking and the evolution of social-identity in stroke narratives: a thematic synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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  • University of Birmingham


Background: The disruption of a stroke can impact an individual’s sense of social identity. A comprehensive review is required to understand the factors and processes that influence changes in social identity following a stroke.

Aims: To undertake a review of literature to discover a process of social identity evolution for people with stroke and identify the factors which influence it.

Methods: A meta-ethnographic approach to review was undertaken and a subtle realist viewpoint was assumed. Studies were included if they documented experiences and perceptions relating to stroke. Eight electronic databases were searched from January 2009 until January 2019. Quality assessment and synthesis techniques were applied.

Findings: Out of the 18 papers included, a total of 251 (141/251, 56% male, 109/251, 43% female, 1/251, 0.4% undisclosed) individuals were included within the synthesis. The evolution of social-identity model was developed and identified with five key stages to represent a process that individuals with stroke can experience. Factors which influence the process were identified and direct implications for clinical practice are given.

Conclusion: This review has highlighted the major themes within the evolution of social identity and management strategies for risk taking to achieve a desired future. Further research is required to consider how these findings may be tested in clinical practice.


Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


  • Stroke, social identity, hope, rehabilitation