OBJECTIVE: To explore the consequences of mental slowness in the daily life of patients with stroke. DESIGN: In a cross-sectional survey semi-structured interviews were completed. Interviews were transcribed and coded by two independent reviewers. Qualitative analysis was done by means of the 'constant comparison method'. SETTING: Three rehabilitation centres in the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of 13 patients with stroke, suffering from mental slowness, was derived from December 2003 to May 2004. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Interview descriptions of the everyday consequences of mental slowness. RESULTS: Patients experienced many problems in daily life due to mental slowness. These could be divided into two main groups: (1) problems in cognitive functioning; (2) psychological and somatic complaints. In response to these problems, some patients mentioned the use of compensation strategies in order to reduce the demands on their information processing capacity. CONCLUSIONS: Mental slowness in cognitive functioning affects a wide range of activities, causing emotional symptoms in many patients and stimulating the spontaneous use of compensation strategies in some patients.
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