Could finding the silver lining improve wellbeing for stroke survivors?

Stroke researchers at The Florey are embarking on a project to investigate whether finding the silver lining improves quality of life for people who have had a stroke.

Known as ‘benefit finding’, the process of deriving something positive from adversity has become a valuable way to improve health in times of stress, trauma or illness.

The goal for The Florey’s research is to determine if people experience benefit finding after stroke, and what may influence this, looking at a group of working-age survivors.

Photo of a young woman smiling towards the sun and wearing a denim jacket in front of pastel coloured clouds

Professor Julie Bernhardt leads stroke research at The Florey and hopes this research project will shed light on what could be an integral part of stroke rehabilitation.

“Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Australia, and we know that stroke survivors have unmet needs in their recovery journey,” says Professor Bernhardt.

“When we think about healthcare and services for stroke survivors, we need a holistic approach; considering a person’s physical, emotional and social needs. But many healthcare and service providers need evidence to determine what is made available for people, which is where research like this can make a difference.

“We can see from studies across the world that benefit finding can improve people’s wellbeing with things like trauma and chronic illness. Our theory is that quality of life could be improved in stroke survivors too – but this is for our research to determine.”

Mr Jason Yeung and Dr Karen Borschmann from Professor Bernhardt’s team will be taking on this project, conducting an online survey and interviewing participants.

“We have a clear aim to improve people’s lives through our research. I’m thrilled to see this research project underway, and look forward to hearing from lots of stroke survivors over the coming weeks and months,” Professor Bernhardt added.

The Benefit Finding Study is recruiting participants now

The survey should take approximately 20–30 minutes to complete. If needed, you can complete the survey with the assistance from a family member, carer, or friend.

At the end of the online survey, there will be a question to invite you to participate in an in-depth interview over the telephone or video call which may last for 45-60 minutes.

To participate in this study, you need to:

  • Be 18–65 years of age
  • Have had a stroke at least 6 months ago
  • Be able to understand and respond to written and/or verbal English
  • Be able to complete online surveys in English (with or without help from someone).

For more information, you can click here to head to our online survey page.