Understanding people’s experiences of using the SaeboFlex® following a stroke
Hayley Millard, Louise Gustafsson, Matthew Molineux and Katherine Richards
Introduction: This qualitative interpretive phenomenological study sought to understand the experiences of people using the SaeboFlex®, within an outpatient setting, following a stroke.
Method: Five adults who had experienced a stroke and had received the SaeboFlex® from occupational therapists in one outpatient service within the previous 12 months were recruited using convenience sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis.
Results: Three themes emerged from the data: (a) hope for upper limb recovery: ‘you have got nothing to lose’; (b) the everyday experience of the SaeboFlex®: ‘just keeping it in a routine’; (c) the self-reported outcomes: ‘I can do more things you know … but there haven’t been any miracles’.
Conclusion: The findings highlight the important role of hope in the recovery of people following a stroke, and that participants continue to use the device despite limited goal achievement. The reports of limited transfer of training into everyday occupations, either with or without the device, is something that should be carefully considered. The SaeboFlex® is a tool that is promoted for upper limb rehabilitation, but which has limited evidence of effectiveness and mixed client experiences. Further research is required.