This study sought to identify the characteristics of the lived experience of recapturing self-care after a stroke or a spinal cord injury (SCI). Five people who had had a stroke and six with SCI who were in the midst of recapturing self-care (1–3 months after onset) were interviewed. All interviews were analyzed using the Empirical, Phenomenological, and Psychological method. Four main characteristics were present among all of the participants’ lived experiences: (a) becoming familiar with the new body, (b) recapturing self-care through trying, (c) reclaiming control, and (d) feeling uncertainty in the continued recapturing process.

The findings indicate that a prerequisite for recapturing self-care was to get experience from doing to become familiar with the new body, which makes explicit the importance of enabling self-care in the rehabilitation process after stroke or SCI. The findings can be used in clinical practice to improve the understanding of how to better plan individualized self-care intervention.

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