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Rethinking Recovery: Incorporating Holistic Nursing Perspectives in Poststroke Care

Peterson-Burch, Frances BA, BSN; Reuter-Rice, Karin PhD, CPNP-AC; Barr, Taura L. PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000187

Stroke is a life-changing experience. Current treatments focus on treating the condition, rather than the whole person. The goal of this report was to communicate the benefits of a holistic approach to the treatment and recovery of stroke. Our intent was to begin a conversation to transform our approach to stroke care to focus on the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. Wellness approaches are fiscally responsible ways of providing holistic care for patients and their family members to help them achieve optimal individualized recovery. Very few multidimensional programs for wellness exist for patients with stroke and brain injury. Given the changes in health care and the Call to Action set forth in the Institute of Medicine's 2010 report, it would behoove us to consider holistic approaches to stroke care and research programs. Nurses are uniquely positioned to implement multidisciplinary, innovative holistic approaches to address solutions for issues in stroke care. Wellness is a critically important area of stroke care and an opportunity for research. As advocates for patients, and nurses with personal experiences, we hope this commentary stimulates conversation around developing and testing multidimensional holistic programs of wellness for stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery.

West Virginia University School of Nursing, Morgantown (Ms Peterson-Burch and Dr Barr); Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina (Dr Reuter-Rice); CereDx LLC, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (Dr Barr); and WVU Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia (Ms Johnson).

Correspondence: Taura L. Barr, PhD, RN, 8 Medical Center Drive, Room 1400, Morgantown, WV 26506 (

The manuscript was partially funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar award to Taura L. Barr (ID: 70319) and Karin Reuter-Rice (ID: 71244) and a WVU Stroke COBRE Award Sub-Project 2P20 GM109098 to Taura L. Barr.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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