Understanding patients’ beliefs of stroke, especially that cultural model which influences the medical management, is important. Professionals normally hold medical knowledge only about stroke, rather than the patients’ perceptions, which leads to limitations in cultural competency. Little is known about Saudi stroke survivors’ beliefs and behaviors related to their strokes. Methods: A qualitative methodology was used to collect in-depth information from stroke survivors. From March 2010 to October 2014, 45 stroke survivors were recruited from outpatient rehabilitation clinic at King Fahad Medical City (KFMC-RH), during their follow-up treatments. Results: Thematic content analysis yielded four major themes of the causes of stroke: medical, cultural, psychological and environmental. Three major themes were determined regarding stroke interventions: medical, lifestyle and behavioral, as well as cultural interventions. Stroke is most likely to be associated with a wide range of cultural beliefs by stroke survivors, leading them to cultural behaviors and management. All of these cultural interventions were typically used as an adjunct rather than an alternative to medical care. Conclusions: Health professionals need to be aware that cultural beliefs and their management are common problems for stroke survivors undergoing rehabilitation in a hospital. This study could be one step forward to help health professionals become culturally competent when working with stroke survivors in a rehabilitation setting in Saudi Arabia.
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