Table 2

Illustrative participant quotes

CategorySubthemesIllustrative quotes
Discharge transitionPhysical therapy“If we had been in [Town], he would have had physical therapy which was recommended,” … “…he was qualified for both of them, but we live 15 miles south of [Town] and he gets nothing… there’s no respite care, there’s no nothing.”
Preparedness“They were very good about preparing me to go home but I was just very weak.”
Rural insightsResources“…we don’t have all the services that Harborview provides where we live…We have a good hospital, it’s about…probably 25 miles away…um probably you know a good 40 minute drive, so if there’s something that comes up…we gotta stay mindful of that and give ourselves plenty of lead time.”
Primary care“The only thing that I have been finding, you know living out here in this rural area” … “is difficulty finding a good primary, family physician.”
Loss of controlLife changes“Well, I can’t move my neck very far. Everything else is pretty normal but I can’t move my neck very far so unfortunately, I can no longer drive.”
COVID-19“Right about when the COVID-19 thing really started taking off, I chose to discontinue going to physical therapy because I just didn’t think that the place I was going was quite cautious enough” … “and I was concerned about getting COVID-19 to my wife who had just done-had surgery for breast cancer.”
Self-efficacySupport system“I needed help with basic needs and so this group of friends really pulled together and made sure I was care for, and I think I was really lucky in that respect, I’m not sure many people would have that.”
Personal outlook“I feel pretty fortunate that my surgery was a success and that my life is I’d say equal to what it was before my surgery.”