Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Camille Skubik-Peplaski

Second Advisor

Dana M. Howell

Third Advisor

Melba G. Custer


The purpose of this phenomenological study is to contribute to the literature surrounding stroke-survivor caregivers and to understand the caregivers’ perspective on leisure participation and quality of life. Four caregivers of clients with chronic stroke were recruited for the study via convenience sampling. Participants were audio-recorded during a semi-structured interview lasting 60-80 minutes. The interview guide was consistent across participants and included open-ended questions about the caregiver’s leisure participation and quality of life. Recorded data was transcribed and in-vivo coding was completed. Eight categories were developed from the identified codes and narrowed into primary meaning units: role shift, loss of control, and occupational deprivation, consistent with Moustakas (1994) as adapted by Creswell (2013). Understanding the essense of the lived experience of caregivers is important to the occupational therapy profession because of the prevalence of caregiver-burden and the impact such role-transition has on their occupational participation and that of the client.