Environmental barriers experienced by stroke patients in Musanze district in Rwanda: a descriptive qualitative study

  • G Urimubenshi
  • A Rhoda


Background: Patients with stroke experience a number of environmental barriers, limiting their re-integration. Information regarding the barriers experienced by patients with stroke in a specific setting such as the Musanze district in Rwanda would assist with the development of rehabilitation programmes that would take into consideration the barriers experienced by the clients. Objective: To explore the barriers experienced by patients with stroke residing in Musanze District. Methods: In-depth face-to-face interviews were used to gather the data which were analysed using a thematic approach. Results: Three major themes of the environmental barriers experienced by the study participants that emerged were social, attitudinal and physical barriers. Sub-themes that arose within the social barriers theme included lack of social support and inaccessible physiotherapy services. In terms of attitudinal barriers, the participants reported negative attitudes of others towards them. The sub themes related to physical barriers as described by the participants were inaccessible pathways and toilets. Conclusion: The findings of this study highlight the need for interventions that include awareness and education of communities about disability and advocating for accessible services and physical structures for persons with disabilities.

Keywords: Stroke, environmental barriers, Musanze district, Rwanda

African Health Sciences 2011; 11(3): 398 - 406

Author Biographies

G Urimubenshi
Physiotherapy Department, Kigali Health Institute, Rwanda
A Rhoda
Physiotherapy Department, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1680-6905