Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

What helps and hinders the provision of healthcare that minimises treatment burden and maximises patient capacity? A qualitative study of stroke health professional perspectives

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dimitris SkleparisORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Objectives Treatment burden is the healthcare workload experienced by individuals with long-term conditions and the impact on well-being. Excessive treatment burden can negatively affect quality-of-life and adherence to treatments. Patient capacity is the ability of an individual to manage their life and health problems and is dependent on a variety of physical, psychological and social factors. Previous work has suggested that stroke survivors experience considerable treatment burden and limitations on their capacity to manage their health. We aimed to examine the potential barriers and enablers to minimising treatment burden and maximising patient capacity faced by health professionals and managers providing care to those affected by stroke.Setting Primary and secondary care stroke services in a single health board area in Scotland.Participants Face-to-face qualitative interviews with 21 participants including stroke consultants, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists, general practitioners and health-service managers.Outcome measures Data were analysed using thematic analysis to ascertain any factors that influence the provision of low-burden healthcare.Results Barriers and facilitators to the provision of healthcare that minimises treatment burden and maximises patient capacity were reported under five themes: healthcare system structure (e.g. care coordination and autonomous working); resources (e.g. availability of ward nurses and community psychologists); knowledge and awareness (e.g. adequate time and materials for optimal information delivery); availability of social care (e.g. waiting times for home adaptations or extra social support) and patient complexity (e.g. multimorbidity).Conclusions Our findings have important implications for the design and implementation of stroke care pathways, emphasising the importance of removing barriers to health professional provision of person-centred care. This work can inform the design of interventions aimed at nurturing autonomous working by health professionals, improving communication and care coordination or ensuring availability of a named person throughout the patient journey.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kyle J, Skleparis D, Mair FS, Gallacher KI

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2020

Volume: 10

Online publication date: 18/03/2020

Acceptance date: 06/02/2020

Date deposited: 22/07/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-034113


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric