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Narrative Group Intervention to reconstruct Meaning of Life among Stroke Survivors: A Randomized Clinical Trial Study

Author(s): Esther OW Chow


Stroke is the most significant cause of disability in older adults and has a dramatic psychosocial impact on stroke survivors. Narrative therapy (NT) views people as ‘the experts’ in their own lives, assuming people have many skills, abilities, beliefs, and values that will assist them in life. NT is used to externalize the dominant problem-saturated experiences and open diverse possibilities for reconstruction of identity in ways that are powerfully connected with their meaning and purpose of life.


A double-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) was used. A sample (N=192) of stroke survivors was randomly assigned to intervention (NT) or treatment as usual (TAU) psycho-education groups.

Results: Survivors in the NT group showed significant improvements in the various outcome measures: stroke knowledge, mastery, self-esteem, hope, meaning in life, and life satisfaction. Most improvements were sustained 4 months post intervention. The TAU group failed to show similar improvements across most measures. The NT participants experienced significantly decreased depression, and improved self-esteem, mastery, hope, meaning in life and life satisfaction scores, sustained 4 months post intervention. No adverse reaction was recorded in any of the cases mentioned at all study sites.

Conclusion: Results suggest that NT as a meaning-making intervention could be a viable option for stroke survivors to facilitate their recovery.

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