What we are doing - Psychosocial wellbeing after stroke

Our research has been underway for two years. We have conducted two literature reviews. One looking at general experiences of wellbeing after stroke in Aotearoa, which has now been published; and one looking at Māori experiences after stroke, awaiting publication. Summaries and the publication can be found below. We have also shared elements of our findings at the Stroke Society of Australasia conference in August 2023 – you can find the posters presented below. We are nearing the end of the second phase of the project and are currently completing analysis of how wellbeing is addressed in stroke care practices. We are starting to take our findings back to the communities involved to hear their perspectives. Stay tuned for updates as we wrap up phase two and move into prioritising and developing resources for change.

DECEMBER 2022: A PDF update of our study to date

APRIL 2022: A PDF update of our study to date

Literature reviews

We wanted to find out what people have said about how they experience well-being after a stroke here in Aotearoa. Through reviewing the qualitative literature on life after stroke in Aotearoa, four things appear to be key to experiencing well-being:

  • Strong connections
  • Sense of self
  • Stable in the present
  • A vision of the future

You can find the full paper here

We are currently completing a literature review of Māori experiences of life after stroke, drawing on published research and theses. This deepens our understandings and highlights Māori whakaaro (thoughts) of what is important, beyond what we found in our general review above. Aspects important for well-being include:

  • Whānaungatanga and connection;
  • Wairua and the upholding of mana;
  • One’s identity as Māori; and
  • Rangatiratanga

Whānau is particularly important in supporting well-being, for enhancing people’s wairua after stroke, and upholding mana. It is clear that stroke has a ripple effect on the well-being of others within the wider whānau that is often not recognised or acknowledged.

What are our next steps?

In 2022, we will build a deeper understanding of what is currently happening in care, what stroke survivors and whānau experience in stroke services, and what they need to support their long-term well-being. We need to learn more about how services are structured and funded, and how this impacts on what happens for patients.

We are already hearing what people think is working well in supporting well-being. We are also getting clear messages about what could be done differently to support the well-being of stroke survivors and whānau. We will take our research back to the communities involved—clinicians, stroke whānau and stroke managers—to explore their priorities for change.

In the final year of the project, we will develop resources to support psychosocial well-being. The exact nature of these, including who these will be for, will be determined (with stakeholder engagement) during the research process. Whilst there may be many resources that might be helpful, we will likely focus on one or two particular areas, given the resources we have to work with.

Further details


  • Felicity A. S. Bright, Claire Ibell-Roberts & Bobbie-Jo Wilson (2023) Psychosocial well-being after stroke in Aotearoa New Zealand: a qualitative metasynthesis, Disability and Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2023.2212178


Would you like more information?

Just let us know! We are really happy to share information on a regular basis via email.

If you would like us to share any of the work we’re doing with your team (e.g. at an inservice), we’re really happy to explore this with you.

We can be contacted in the following ways:

  1. Email any enquiry to wellbeing.study@aut.ac.nz or
  2. Felicity Bright: felicity.bright@aut.ac.nz or
  3. BJ Wilson: bjwilson@aut.ac.nz

You can also Download our study flyer

Psychosocial well-being after stroke study

Supporting well-being after stroke to improve understanding and enhancing care.

Find out more