Background and aims: Previous research has focused primarily on incidence rates and barriers/facilitators influencing return to work, without considering the formal paths accessed by people with stroke. The aim of this study was to identify the paths used by Australian people to return to work following stroke, including changes to work-related habits and routines, and job satisfaction.
Methods: This descriptive, retrospective study recruited people through newsletters and online forums for people with stroke. The quantitative data were summarised descriptively and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare pre- and post-stroke job satisfaction rates.
Results: Participants (n = 21) were aged 48 years on average, female (67%) and university trained (71%). Ten (48%) participants did not access formal return-to-work services, yet participants commonly reported changes to work-related habits and routines. Participants were significantly less satisfied with their post-stroke job suitability (physically, cognitively and financially), stability and importance (p < .05).
Conclusion: Participants in this small-scale study did not routinely access formal support services to return to work, while experiencing changes to work-related habits and satisfaction. Further research is required to document the return-to-work paths, including the experience from the perspective of the person with stroke.