Skip to main content

Table 2 Participants’ responses to the incidental discovery of SBIs

From: Patients’ responses to incidentally discovered silent brain infarcts – a qualitative study

Categories Subcategories Representative quotations
Emotional Fear “I was in a panic, in a big panic.” – P2
“I’m afraid I’m going to have dementia or a major stroke.” – P2
“These were minor strokes that I didn’t even feel … any time I get a headache now I’m concerned.” – P2
Surprise “I was caught unawares when the word ‘stroke’ came up.” – P10
“Nothing was mentioned about a stroke to me originally …” – P4
“My primary doctor: she was surprised. She looked so sorry for what’s happened … my body, my health was good.” – P8
Personal responsibility “There’s damage that’s already been done. I could eat healthy for the rest of my life, but it won’t necessarily undo that damage.” – P3
Cognitive Equating SBIs and strokes “I just want to know what I can do to make myself not have another stroke.” – P11
“What is the difference between a stroke with symptoms and a stroke without?” – P11
Wake-up call “It was a wake-up call. No one is promised tomorrow.” – P12
“There’s a lot I’m going to change.” – P1
“As long as it’s not a drug.” – P1
Discounting “I don’t want this to be the 800 pound gorilla on my back for the rest of my life … I’m not going to have it be like I have a stroke.” – P10
Behavioral Information seeking “Well, I know very little except I had an MRI of my brain.” – P9
“I really don’t know what I can do. Is there a stroke diet? If you exercise or if you change behavior, will that reduce the chance of having another one?” – P10
“I’ll ask more questions regarding this and gather more information.” – P5
Seeking second opinions “I’m weighing it all out now with everybody’s thoughts … Sometimes there’s different opinions. I just got to take them all out and see, put them all together and decide what to do.” – P4
Seeking social support “I don’t hide my sickness from nobody. Not my friends, not my children. I call them up and I tell them … I call my son … His son calls his aunt, his nephew, his sister, they call everybody … I call my friends, I tell them … My daughter called him, and she called my two sons in Barbados, and they called me … It’s not right to hide sickness from no one.” – P7
  1. P# Participant number