Pirandello’s Analogy: A Source for a Better Understanding of the Social Impact of Stroke
Background: Suffering a stroke has major implications for the patient. To understand human suffering, one should understand society. Pirandello described society as a higher entity than the individual, thereby justifying human adaptability to society. We explore a qualitative finding that suggests that social trends may influence how stroke patients prioritize aspects of their rehabilitation. Methods: We compare a contemporary patient’s experience of stroke recovery with that of a fictional character from the works of Luigi Pirandello. Both patients had two main residual symptoms: hemiparesis and aphasia. Results: The rehabilitation priorities of the two patients differed, and appeared to reflect the contemporaneous demands of society. Mobility was prioritized in 1910; communication was prioritized in 2010. However, essential aspects of ‘being a stroke patient’ remained unchanged; both patients retained a sense of self and both coped emotionally by being hopeful. Conclusions: We conclude that stroke patients respond to society’s contemporaneous demands and expectations. Currently, society demands participation in a large social environment and this is reflected in stroke patients’ priorities. This analogy could enable medical professionals to better understand the social impact of stroke, and consequently offer appropriate interventions to improve rehabilitation outcomes for individual patients.
M.A.C. van Haaren, Maggie Lawrence, P.H. Goossens, B. van den Bossche, M.J.H. Wermer, and A.A. Kaptein. "Pirandello’s Analogy: A Source for a Better Understanding of the Social Impact of Stroke" European Neurology 67 (2012): 92-97.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/maggie_lawrence/33