An appreciative action research study to support humanising relationship-centred practices on stroke units

Authors: Gordon, C., Ellis-Hill, C., Watkins, C.L. and Dewar, B.


Volume: 13

Pages: 18

eISSN: 1747-4949

ISSN: 1747-4930

Source: Web of Science (Lite)

An appreciative action research study to support humanising relationship-centred practices on stroke units.

Authors: Gordon, C., Ellis-Hill, C., Dewar, B. and Watkins, C.

Conference: UK Stroke Forum

Dates: 4-6 December 2018


Introduction Stroke services focus on physical outcomes with challenges to deliver holistic, person-centred care. This abstract will describe the development of strategies to support meaningful relationship-centred experiences for patients, relatives and staff on Stroke Units (SU) that was part of a larger PhD study.

Method Using a participatory appreciative action research (AAR) design, CG collaborated with two combined specialist SU in England over 20 months. The participants included current SU in-patients (n=17), relatives (n=7), and SU staff (n=65). Data were generated over 20 months through multiple methods by CG and the participants. Stories of positive relational experiences from the data were used for reflection and learning. Practice changes were implemented and evaluated by staff. Initial analysis of data through sense-making was conducted with participants to develop themes on strategies that support relationship-centred experiences. Further in-depth thematic analysis was conducted away from the field to confirm themes.

Results Data generated helped all participants to articulate and value the tacit aspects of relationships that support SU experiences. Patients, relatives and staff all described the importance of human connections in making meaningful experiences in relation to ‘knowing who I am, not why I’m here’. Process data on conducting AAR informed pragmatic strategies to support human connections. The resulting main themes were: sensitising to relational experiences; sharing stories and reflecting; and having the freedom to act in a relational way.

Conclusion Findings suggest that the AAR method can support practical strategies to enhance humanising relationship-centred experiences for staff and service users on combined SU.

Source: Manual