Examining dyadic processes in a person-centred intervention to increase outdoor walking after stroke

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University of New Brunswick


People with stroke are typically inactive. Dyadic interventions which involve two people working together to support change may increase activity. This study examines dyadic processes in a dyadic intervention for walking after stroke. Single-arm observational pilot intervention study with qualitative process evaluation. Participants were people with stroke and their walking buddies. The 12-week intervention involved face-to-face and telephone sessions. Interview data and fieldnotes were thematically analyzed. 21 dyads were recruited. Ten dyads completed the intervention prior to COVID-19 restrictions. Eighteen dyads completed exit interviews. Four major themes were created: ‘Communication’ which helped to adapt to the environment, deepened relationships and promoted understanding; ‘Motivation’ which was increased by encouragement and improvement; ‘Confidence’ stemming from improved ability, comfort and independence; and ‘Enjoyment’ through reconnecting with the partner and the community. The dyadic structure of the intervention gave rise to several dyadic processes in relation to initiating and maintaining behaviour change.