Purpose: To identify common or unique family-healthcare team interactions during acute hospitalization for pediatric patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) using a life course trajectory (LCT) theoretical approach.
Design and Methods: A 3-year prospective observational study of 35 children, ages 5 days to 15 years who were admitted to an urban Level-1 trauma hospital for a TBI. We defined brain injury severity using the admission Glasgow Coma Scale score (mild 13-15, moderate 9-12, and severe 3-8). Using a life course trajectory theoretical approach, we extracted from the patient's electronic health record the first eight-days of hospitalization and plotted the number and type of daily family-healthcare team interactions to visualize patterns or phases.
Results: A general trajectory for each severity group was determined. When individually compared, family trajectories were similar based on injury severity. Visual interpretations of family-healthcare interactions based on the brain injury severity yielded three phases. The interactions phases included: (1) information seeking, (2) watchful waiting and (3) decision making.
Conclusion: Using a LCT approach, phases identified based on injury severity and family interactions support the need for proper timing of tailored communication and support. The findings also support the development of future best care practices that facilitate family's needs, decrease caregiver burden to improve functional outcomes.
Background: The interest in outcome measurement in pediatric palliative care is rising. To date, the majority of studies investigating relevant outcomes of pediatric palliative care focus on children with cancer. Insight is lacking, however, about relevant outcome domains for children with severe neurological impairment and their families.
Aim: The aim of this study was to identify meaningful outcome domains of pediatric palliative care for children with severe neurological impairment and their families.
Design: A qualitative research design following a constructivist research paradigm was employed. Guided interviews were conducted with parents of children with life-limiting conditions and severe neurological impairment and professional caregivers. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.; Setting: Overall, 10 cooperating pediatric palliative care institutions across Germany (outpatient and inpatient settings) aided in the recruitment of eligible parents and professional caregivers. A total of 11 interviews with 14 parents and 17 interviews with 20 professional caregivers were conducted.
Results: Six core outcome domains of pediatric palliative care for children with severe neurological impairment and their families were identified, namely (1) symptom control, (2) respite and support, (3) normalcy, (4) security, (5) empowerment, and (6) coping with the disease, each consisting of 1 to 13 individual aspects.
Conclusion: As for other diagnostic groups, symptom control is a relevant outcome domain for children with severe neurological impairment. However, other outcome domains which focus on the whole family and take into account the long disease trajectory, such as respite and support, security, empowerment, and coping with the disease, are also crucial.
Objective: A child's severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) creates a family crisis requiring extensive cultural, informational, psychological, and environmental support. Nurses need to understand parents' expectations of caring in early acute care so they can tailor their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors appropriately to accommodate the family's needs.
Methods: In a previous qualitative study of 42 parents or caregivers from 37 families of children with moderate-to-severe TBI, parents of children with severe TBI (n = 25) described their appraisals of nurse caring and uncaring behaviors in early acute care. Swanson's theory of caring was used to categorize parents' descriptions to inform nursing early acute care practices and family-centered care.
Results: Caring nurse encounters included (a) involving parents in the care of their child and reflecting on all sociocultural factors shaping family resources and responses (knowing); (b) respecting that family grief can be co-mingled with resilience and that parents are typically competent to be involved in decision making (maintaining belief); (d) actively listening and engaging parents to fully understand family values and needs (being with); (e) decreasing parents' workload to get information and emotional support and provide a safe cultural, psychological, and physical environment for the family (doing for); and (f) providing anticipatory guidance to navigate the early acute care system and giving assistance to learn and adjust to their situation (enabling).
Conclusion: Application of Swanson's caring theory is prescriptive in helping individual nurses and early acute care systems to meet important family needs after children's severe TBI.
Purpose: Technological advances have made the delivery of psychological interventions via web-based platforms increasingly feasible. In recent years, there has been growth in the delivery of psychological interventions through web-based modalities, that is, telepsychology. Although there is evidence supporting the usability and feasibility of telepsychology for a range of populations, there is limited literature on clinician perceptions delivering telepsychology, particularly to pediatric rehabilitation populations. In this mixed-methods study, we report on clinician perspectives and experiences delivering telepsychology to children/families impacted by pediatric traumatic brain injury.
Method: Seventeen clinicians (psychologists and advanced psychology doctoral students) who delivered telepsychology interventions to children/families impacted by pediatric brain injuries completed surveys and interviews.
Results: Overall, clinicians reported that telepsychology was equivalent to face-to-face treatment in many regards (e.g. therapeutic alliance, weekly progress, child/family engagement, and establishing rapport). Clinicians reported a number of advantages of telepsychology over face-to-face interventions for this pediatric population including greater ease of scheduling, increased understanding of the family and home environments, and less caregiver stigma of behavioral health care. Disadvantages of telepsychology included difficulties reading nonverbal cues, logistical/technological issues, and greater disruptions during sessions.
Conclusions: Findings provide an important foundation for future investigations examining the merits of telepsychology versus traditional treatment for both pediatric rehabilitation populations.
Head injury is a leading cause of mortality and acquired neurological impairment in children. Head-injured children may have neurobehavioural deficits that persist for years following injury. Head injury can result in significant and persistent caregiver burden, including mental health issues, family stress and disorganisation, and unmet social and healthcare service needs. Few studies have examined the healthcare and social service needs of children and their families following head injury sustained at an early age. This qualitative study aims to describe the experiences of caregivers of children who sustained a serious head injury (particularly non-accidental head injury) before the age of 2 years. Caregivers were interviewed up to 15 years following the initial injury. Semi-structured interviews with 21 caregivers of 15 children (aged 3-15 years at the time of interview) were completed. Thematic analysis of interview data generated three key themes: impact, support and information. The study's findings reveal the broad impact of serious childhood head injury on caregivers, specifically the significant distress and burden brought about through lack of information, challenges in accessing support and inconsistent care. Recommendations for developing a quality 'model of care' and improving ease of access to supports for caregivers are provided. (© The Author(s) 2015.)
Objectives: Often people with spinal cord injury (SCI) require help from their caregivers to carry out activities of daily living. Such assistance may affect caregiver quality of life (QoL). This study investigates the QoL and its associated risk factors among caregivers of people with SCI to find possible ways to increase their QoL. Material and Method: A convenience sample of 135 Iranian caregivers of people with SCI participated in a cross-sectional study from the Brain and Spinal Injury Repair Research Center of Tehran (BASIR), Iran, from June 2018 to October 2019. The World Health Organization's Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQoL-BREF), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the Caregiver Burden Scale (CBS), and a demographic questionnaire were administered. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was then applied to identify risk factors associated with caregiver QoL. Results: Moderate to highly significant negative correlations were observed between all domains of the WHOQoL scale and subscales of the CBS and the BDI-II. After controlling for demographic and clinical variables, depression, burden, and level of injury were found to predict caregiver QoL significantly. Furthermore, QoL was lower in caregivers of people with quadriplegia than paraplegia (p<0.05). Conclusions: The level of injury, self-perceived caregiver burden, and depression are associated with QoL for the caregivers of people with SCI. A holistic approach incorporating caregiver training, psychological interventions, and adequate support may enable better QoL for these caregivers.
Objectives: Exploration of the healthcare journey post-stroke is incomplete without acknowledging the crucial role of family caregivers. With limited literature documenting the role of caregivers in the healthcare journey post-stroke, we aimed to describe the healthcare experiences of family caregivers and stroke survivors across different caregiver identities in Singapore. Methods: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study involving semi-structured interviews with transcripts analysed using thematic analysis. 26 stroke survivors and 35 family caregivers purposively sampled from multiple settings. Results: Findings were summarized into seeking care and experience of healthcare encounters. Seeking care comprised of the following themes: factors influencing seeking care, decision to seek care and role of caregiver in seeking care. Experience of healthcare encounters comprised of the following themes: service around the patient, service with care and role of caregiver in healthcare encounters. Conclusion: Multi-dimensional role of caregivers in healthcare experience emerged as a major finding. Unique to our Asian context, as per the participants’ accounts, family caregivers seemed to be central in healthcare decision-making for stroke survivors, with adult-child caregivers commonly reported being engaged in collaborative decision-making. While spousal caregivers preferred a relational healthcare experience, adult-child caregivers preferred a transactional one. Practical implications include equipping caregivers with skillset to make healthcare decisions, provision of supportive decision-making environment for caregivers and reinforcing communication aspects in the medical, nursing and allied healthcare curriculum to improve healthcare experience.
Background: Facilitating successful care transitions across settings is a key nursing competency. Although we have achieved improvements in acute stroke care, similar advances in stroke care transitions in the postacute and return to community phases have lagged far behind. In the current delivery system, care transitions are often ineffective and inefficient resulting in unmet needs and high rates of unnecessary complications and avoidable hospital readmissions. Nurses must use evidence-based approaches to prepare stroke survivors and their family caregivers for postdischarge self-management, rehabilitation, and recovery. Objectives and methods: The purpose of this article is to provide evidence on the important nursing roles in stroke care and transition management across the care continuum, discuss cross-setting issues in stroke care, and provide recommendations to leverage nursing’s impact in optimizing outcomes for stroke survivors and their family unit across the continuum. Findings: To optimize nursing’s influence in facilitating safe, effective, and efficient care transitions for stroke survivors and their family caregivers across the continuum we have the following recommendations (1) establish a system of coordinated and seamless comprehensive stroke care across the continuum and into the community; (2) implement a stroke nurse liaison role that provides consultant case management for the episode of care across all settings/services for improved consistency, communication and follow-up care; (3) implement a validated caregiver assessment tool to systematically assess gaps in caregiver preparedness and develop a tailored caregiver/family care plan that can be implemented to improve caregiver preparedness; (4) use evidence-based teaching and communication methods to optimize stroke survivor/caregiver learning; and (5) use technology to advance stroke nursing care. Conclusions: Nurses must leverage their substantial influence over the health care delivery system to achieve these improvements in stroke care delivery to improve the health and lives of stroke survivors and their families.
Objectives: To identify and describe caregiver profiles based on their psychosocial health characteristics over a 12-month period and transitions among these profiles, to determine if stroke rehabilitation use at 12 months post-stroke differed by caregiver profile transition patterns, and to investigate if caregiver profiles at 3 months post-stroke moderate the association of stroke rehabilitation use at 3 months and 12 months post-stroke after accounting for covariates. Methods: Latent profile transition analysis of caregiver psychosocial health with stroke rehabilitation use at 12 month post-stroke as outcome. Setting and Participants: A total of 149 stroke patient-caregiver dyads from the Singapore Stroke Study. Methods: Cross-sectional latent profile analyses were conducted on caregiver psychosocial health indicators of burden, depression, health status, quality of relationship with patient, and social support. Changes in latent profile classification over 3 time points (baseline, 3 months, and 12 months post-stroke) were analyzed using latent transition analysis. A transition model with stroke rehabilitation use at 12 months post-stroke as the outcome was tested after accounting for covariates. Results: Two distinct caregiver psychosocial health latent profiles were found across time: nondistressed and distressed. Most caregivers were classified as nondistressed and remained nondistressed over time. Distressed caregivers at baseline were 76% likely to become nondistressed at 12 month post-stroke. Regardless of profile transition patterns, nondistressed caregivers at 12 months post-stroke tended to have cared for stroke rehabilitation nonusers at 12 months post-stroke. Patient depression explained profile classification at 3 months and 12 months post-stroke. After accounting for covariates, rehabilitation users at 3 months post-stroke tended to continue using rehabilitation at 12 months post-stroke only when they had nondistressed caregivers at 3 months post-stroke. Conclusions and Implications: Whether caregiver adaptation explains the associations between the latent profile transition patterns and rehabilitation use at 12 months post-stroke should be examined. Early psychosocial health assessment and sustained support should be made available to stroke caregivers to enhance their well-being and subsequent patient rehabilitation participation.
Background: Stroke is now the second leading cause of adult death in Sub-Saharan Africa. Developed in dialogue with stroke survivors and caregivers in Sierra Leone, this will be the first study to explore the experience of stroke as well as the perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to accessing stroke care among stroke survivors, informal caregivers and healthcare providers. Findings will inform future stroke research and care in Sierra Leone. Methods and analysis: A cross-sectional qualitative study employing semistructured interviews that will be audiorecorded, translated, transcribed and coded. Setting: Freetown, Sierra Leone. Participants: Interviews with a purposive sample of stroke survivors, informal caregivers and healthcare providers. Analysis: Interviews will be coded by two authors and inductively analysed using thematic analysis. Ethics and dissemination: This study has received ethical approval from the Sierra Leone Ethics and Scientific Review Committee (8 December 2020) and the KCL Biomedical & Health Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine and Natural & Mathematical Sciences Research Ethics Subcommittee (reference: HR-20/21-21050). The findings of the study and learning in terms of the process of coproduction and involvement of stroke survivors will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications, conferences, media and lay reports.
Impact and Implications: The current study highlights the importance of screening for suicidal ideation for both individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their caregivers, as findings suggest that thoughts of death and/or suicide are relatively common among both patients and caregivers up to a year post-injury. Moreover, patient suicidal ideation at hospitalization is predictive of reported caregiver suicidal ideation at later time points. Clinicians and rehabilitation specialists may wish to expanding practices of assessing suicide risk in patients to include caregivers, particularly caregivers of patients who endorsed suicidal ideation. Given that these findings demonstrate significant interdependence of suicidality between patients and caregivers, interventions for patients with TBI should include their respective caregivers or even incorporate family systems theories and approaches. Purpose/Objective: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with depression, anxiety, and even suicidality in individuals with TBI and in caregivers. Moreover, emotional functioning in individuals with TBI is linked with caregiver functioning. However, no known studies to date have examined linkages in suicidal ideation in individuals with TBI and family caregivers. This is especially important in Latin America, where TBI rates are high, and where cultural norms influence family caregiving. This study examined associations among self-reported suicidal ideation in individuals with TBI and their primary caregivers over time in Mexico and Colombia. Research Method/Design: A total of 109 individuals and their primary caregivers completed measures during hospitalization for TBI and at 2- and 4-months posthospitalization. The primary outcome was Item 9 from the Spanish version of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, assessing for thoughts of death or suicide in the previous 2 weeks. Results: Patients and caregivers reported high levels of suicidal ideation (18.3%-22.4% and 12.4%-15.7%, respectively) at each time point, and suicidal ideation at one time point strongly predicted ideation at the next. When patients endorsed suicidal ideation in the hospital, their caregivers tended to endorse suicidal ideation 2 months later. Although unaccounted for variables could be driving these relationships, they may also provide possible evidence of causal preponderance between patient and caregiver suicidal ideation post-TBI. Conclusions/Implications: Clinicians and rehabilitation specialists can use these findings to inform suicide risk assessment by expanding these practices to caregivers of patients who endorsed suicidal ideation. Interventions after TBI should incorporate caregivers given this study showed significant interdependence of suicidality between patients and caregivers.
Objective: To test a model comprising explanatory (neurologic impairment, coping, personality) and mediating (resilience, self-efficacy, hope, social support) variables on psychological adjustment and burden among family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) vs spinal cord injury (SCI). Methods: Structural equation modeling with multigroup analysis. Setting: Six rehabilitation centers across New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. Participants: A total of 181 family members (N=181; 131 TBI, 50 SCI). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Ways of Coping Questionnaire, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Herth Hope Scale, Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey; and 4 measures of psychological adjustment including: Caregiver Burden Scale, Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 (SF-36), General Health Questionnaire-28, and Positive and Negative Affect Scale. Results: The model for the aggregated sample demonstrated a very good model fit (χ2=47.42, df=39, ρ=0.167, normed fit index=.962, incremental fit index=.993, Tucker-Lewis index=.985, comparative fit index=.993, root-mean-squared error of approximation=.035). Multi-group analysis found significant commonalities in the pattern of relationships among variables across the 2 groups. In the only differences found, neuroticism was significantly more influential on burden in family members supporting individuals with TBI than family members of individuals with SCI. Furthermore, problem-focused coping was statistically more influential on positive affect in family members of individuals with TBI when compared with family members of individuals with SCI. Conclusions: The study found significant similarities in the patterns of resilience and psychological adjustment among family caregivers of individuals with TBI and SCI.
Background: Since the introduction of the integrated care model, understanding how social interactions and community resources can alleviate caregivers’ burden is vital to minimizing negative patients’ outcomes. Methods: This study (n = 214) examined the associations between these factors and caregivers’ burden in stroke settings. It used 3-month and 1-year post-stroke data collected from five tertiary hos-pitals. Subjective and objective caregivers’ burdens were measured using Zarit burden interview and Oberst caregiving burden scale respectively. The independent variables examined were quality of care relationship, care management strategies for managing patients’ behaviour, family caregiv-ing conflict, formal service usage and assistance to the caregiver. Significant associations were de-termined using mixed effect modified Poisson regressions. Results: For both types of burden, the scores were slightly higher at 3 months as compared to 1 year. Poorer care-relationship (relative risk: 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.70–0.94) and adopting positive care management strategies (relative risk: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.02–1.07) were independently associated with a high subjective burden. Providing assistance to caregivers (relative risk: 2.45, 95% CI: 1.72–3.29) and adopting positive care management strategies (relative risk: 1.03, 95% CI: 1.02–1.04) were independently associated with a high objective burden. Adopting positive care management strategies at 3 months had a significant indi-rect effect (standardised β: 0.11, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.20) on high objective burden at one year. Conclusions: Healthcare providers should be aware that excessive care management strategies and assistance from family members may add to caregivers’ burden.
Background: Caregiving is a global phenomenon which is bound to increase in tandem with the aging population worldwide. Stroke is a condition common in older people that requires complex caregiving necessitating provision of adequate support to the caregivers. Past literature consists of limited accounts of types and organization of support arrangements needed by different caregivers. Objectives: We aimed to describe the support system of caregivers of stroke survivors in Singapore, highlighting differences across the different caregiver identities (i.e. spouse, adult-child, etc.). Methods: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study in the community setting involving 61 purposively sampled and recruited stroke survivors and caregivers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, and transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Our findings were summarized across the following 4 themes: 1) cultural influence and caregiving; 2) caregiver support system with the following sub-themes: 2.1) dyadic caregiver support type, 2.2) extended caregiver support type, 2.3.) distributed caregiver support type and 2.4) empowering caregiver support type; 3) breaks in care of stroke survivor and 4) complex relationship dynamics. We operationalized the caregiver support system as comprising of type, people and activities that enable the caregiver to participate in caregiving activities sustainably. While spouse caregivers preferred dyadic and extended support systems positioning themselves in a more central caregiving role, adult-child caregivers preferred distributed support system involving family members with paid caregivers playing a more central role. Conclusions: Our findings highlight caregiver identity as a surrogate for the differences in the caregiver support systems. Practical implications include imparting relationship-building skills to the stroke survivor-caregiver dyads to sustain dyadic support system and educating clinicians to include differences in caregiving arrangements of stroke survivors in practising family-centred care.
Aims and objectives: To synthesise qualitative research evidence on the experience of stroke survivors and informal caregivers in hospital‐to‐home transitional care. Background: Due to a shortened hospital stay, stroke survivors/caregivers must take over complex care on discharge from hospital to home. Gaps in the literature warrant a meta‐synthesis of qualitative studies on perceived enablers and barriers during this crucial period. Design: A systematic review and meta‐synthesis.MethodsA review was guided by Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research (ENTREQ) checklist where six databases were searched from April to June 2020 including CINAHL Plus, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus, Web of Science and ProQuest and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. There was no date limit to the search. Selected studies were critically appraised. A thematic synthesis approach was applied. Results: The synthesis of 29 studies identified three major findings. First, partnerships with stroke survivors/caregivers empower discharge preparation, foster competence to navigate health and social care systems and activate self‐management capabilities. Second, gaps in discharge planning and the lack of timely postdischarge support contribute to unmet care needs for stroke survivors/caregivers and affect their ability to cope with poststroke changes. Third, stroke survivors/caregivers expect integrated transitional care that promotes shared decision‐making and enables long‐term self‐management at home. Conclusions: Hospital‐to‐home transition is a challenging period in the trajectory of poststroke rehabilitation and recovery. Further research is required to deepen understandings of all stakeholders’ views and address unmet needs during transitional care. Relevance to clinical practice: Protocols and clinical guidelines relating to discharge planning and transitional care need to be reviewed to ensure partnership approach with survivors/caregivers in the design and delivery of individualised transitional care. Stroke nurses are in a unique position to lead timely support for survivors/caregivers and to bridge service gaps in hospital‐to‐home transitional care.
Objectives: To explore the effect of care transitions intervention (CTI) on the sense of benefit-finding of caregivers for patients with acute cerebral infarction (ACI). Ninety caregivers for patients with ACI were divided into two groups according to the random number table method (n = 45 in each group). Methods: The control group was given regular health guidance, and the intervention group was given care transitions intervention on the basis of the guidance used in the control group. The changes in the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life between the two groups were compared before and after the intervention. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in caregivers between the two groups in gender, age, educational level, occupational status, gender and age of the patients, activities of daily living (ADL) scores before discharge, and the relationships between the caregiver and the patient. Before CTI, there was no statistically significant difference in the caregivers' sense of benefit-finding (including sense of benefit, family relationship, personal growth, social relationship and healthy behavior) and quality of life (including benefit-finding of care, stress of care, choice of care, support to care and money issue) between the two groups. While after CTI, the scores of each dimension of the caregivers' sense of benefit finding and quality of life in the intervention group were significantly higher than those in the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The CTI can help improve the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life of caregivers for patients with ACI.
Background and Objectives: This systematic review aimed to identify and appraise the evidence for online peer-support interventions for caregivers of stroke survivors (with and without aphasia), and people with dementia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Research Design and Methods: Systematic review conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Five databases were systematically searched up until September 2020: EMBASE, PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and Web of Science. Two reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts and full-text articles. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed using Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) and Mixed-Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) scales. Interventions were described using the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklist. Results: A total of 3026 records were identified from database searches. Following screening, 18 studies reporting 17 interventions were included in this review. Most studies (n = 13) reported interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. All studies incorporated an element of peer support as part of the intervention, however, most interventions (n = 15) comprised both psychosocial and educational elements. Statistically significant changes were reported for 11 interventions in one or more of the following domains: caregiver knowledge, mental health, stress, depression, distress, burden, self-efficacy, mastery, helplessness and perceived support. Qualitative outcomes included perceived reductions in stress and increased emotional and informational support. Discussion and Implications: Positive changes in caregiver outcomes were identified in response to multi-component online interventions (i.e., peer support in addition to education). Peer support was often poorly described, limiting the conclusions that could be drawn about the intervention components which result in better outcomes. Online interventions may provide an accessible and effective means of supporting caregivers.
Objective: The objective of this review was to elucidate the evidence related to utilizing e-Health as a tool in improving the quality of life of informal caregivers of dependent patients due to cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Methods: This systematic review with meta-analysis includes 13 studies. For these studies, seven databases were searched between 2009 and 2019. A random-effects model was adopted for overall estimation and to explain the heterogeneity. Results: A random-effects model was adopted for overall estimation and to explain heterogeneity. The results did not demonstrate statistical significance (p<0.05) and low heterogeneity (I2 = 0). Conclusions: There is a tendency toward improvement in psychological health, solving care-related problems, as well as better prevention of problems arising from the burden. Therefore, new studies with larger sample size and primarily to conduct them for more than 6 months for the accuracy. Clinical relevance: This study reflects a trend toward improving psychological health, solving care-related problems, as well as improved the prevention of problems arising from the burden.
Objective: Caregiver stress is the term used to define the adverse effects of caregiving, and its prevalence among caregivers of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is amplified by the suddenness of brain injury. This systematic review aimed to identify whether remote interventions can be helpful in minimizing those financial, emotional, and physical stressors associated with caring for a person with TBI. Method: Studies were located by searching the following databases: PsycINFO, PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, Medline, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: (a) The study must be published in English, (b) The study must be published in a peer-reviewed journal, (c) The study must implement a remote intervention specific to caregivers of people with TBI, and (d) One or more symptoms of caregiver stress must be measured as an outcome. Results: After the review process, 12 articles met the inclusion criteria for the study. Most of the studies were randomized controlled trials, used an online problem-solving module, and targeted parents of children/adolescents with a TBI. Ten out of the 12 studies (83.3%) found that remote/online interventions improved caregiver stress outcomes and only two studies did not find improvement in caregiver stress outcomes. Conclusion: Results from this systematic review indicate that online interventions can be as effective as in-person interventions in reducing the symptoms of caregiver stress for caregivers of people with TBI. Implications for practice, research, and policy are discussed. Impact and Implications: Remote interventions are effective in improving life satisfaction, quality of life, and overall caregiver functioning among caregivers of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Remote interventions are also effective in reducing depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and other psychiatric symptoms among caregivers of people with TBI. Support services for caregivers should consider remote interventions such as online support groups, online psychotherapy, and telephone interventions to reduce access barriers for caregivers of people with TBI.
Objectives: To explore the effect of care transitions intervention (CTI) on the sense of benefit-finding of caregivers for patients with acute cerebral infarction (ACI). Methods: Ninety caregivers for patients with ACI were divided into two groups according to the random number table method (n = 45 in each group). The control group was given regular health guidance, and the intervention group was given care transitions intervention on the basis of the guidance used in the control group. The changes in the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life between the two groups were compared before and after the intervention. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in caregivers between the two groups in gender, age, educational level, occupational status, gender and age of the patients, activities of daily living (ADL) scores before discharge, and the relationships between the caregiver and the patient. Before CTI, there was no statistically significant difference in the caregivers' sense of benefit-finding (including sense of benefit, family relationship, personal growth, social relationship and healthy behavior) and quality of life (including benefit-finding of care, stress of care, choice of care, support to care and money issue) between the two groups. While after CTI, the scores of each dimension of the caregivers' sense of benefit finding and quality of life in the intervention group were significantly higher than those in the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The CTI can help improve the sense of benefit-finding and quality of life of caregivers for patients with ACI.
Objectives: The aim of the study was to design and evaluate a goal-setting tip sheet to improve stroke family caregiver health as part of the Telephone Assessment and Skill-Building Kit program. Methods: A multimethod design using open-ended questions and rating forms was used in this study. Methods In two studies, the goal-setting tip sheet was evaluated by caregivers (N = 12; N = 6), researchers (N = 10; N = 3), clinicians (N = 8; N = 4), and technology experts (N = 4; N = 4). Rigorous qualitative content analysis procedures were used with descriptive statistics for ratings. Findings: Qualitative strengths and areas for improvement refined the goal-setting tip sheet. From 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree, ratings averaged from 3.25 to 5.00 for strategies, accuracy, feasibility, and acceptability. Conclusions: The goal-setting tip sheet was found to be accurate, feasible, and acceptable. Future research is needed to determine the impact on caregiver health. Clinical Relevance Stroke caregivers often neglect their own health; goal setting has the potential to improve caregiver health.
Background: People with memory disorders often need care and help from family carers and health and social care providers. Due to the deterioration of cognitive capacity and language skills, they may be unable to convey their thoughts and care preferences to other people. As a result, their agency may become restricted. We investigated the descriptions provided by people with memory disorders and spousal carers of their influence on care in encounters with formal care providers. Methods: Qualitative thematic analysis was used to identify, analyze, and report themes that describe encounters with professionals in different social or healthcare environments. In-depth interview data were gathered from 19 spouse carers and 15 persons with memory disorders. Findings: Three themes out of four describe how people with memory disorders and their spouse carers influence formal care: Acquiescence, negotiating care decisions, and taking control. The fourth theme describes lack of influence. People with memory disorders and their spouse carers have ways to influence care, but spouse carers identified more ways of doing so. Both either accepted and followed the care guidelines by the formal carers or took control of the situation and made their own decisions. Spouse carers also sought to influence care decisions through negotiations with formal carers. When formal carers’ decisions were experienced as inconsistent or the rationale of their actions difficult to follow, the possibilities to influence care were limited. Conclusions: People with memory disorders and their family carers are often in a disadvantaged position as they lack power over the health and social care decision-making during the illness, which is often guided by structural factors. To support the agency of people with memory disorders and to promote shared decision-making, clarification of the service structure and clearer communication between the different parties involved in care are required.
Background: Informal (unpaid) caregiving usually provided by family is important poststroke. We studied whether the prevalence of informal caregiving after stroke differs between Mexican Americans (MAs) and non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs). Methods: Between October 2014 and December 2018, participants in the BASIC (Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi) project in Nueces County, Texas, were interviewed 90 days after stroke to determine which activities of daily living they required help with and whether family provided informal caregiving. Ethnic differences between MAs and NHWs were determined by logistic regression. The logistic models were stratified by formal (paid) care status. Odds ratios (95% CIs) are reported with NHW as the referent group. Fisher exact tests were used to assess the association of ethnicity with relationship of caregiver and with individual activities of daily living. Results: Eight hundred thirty-one patients answered the caregiving questions. Of these, 242 (29%) received family caregiving (33% of MAs and 23% of NHWs), and 142 (17%) received paid caregiving (21% of MAs and 10% of NHWs). There were no ethnic differences in stroke severity. In logistic regression analyses, among those without formal, paid care, MAs were more likely to have informal caregiving (odds ratio, 1.75 [95% CI, 1.12–2.73]) adjusted for age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, prestroke modified Rankin Scale, and insurance. No ethnic differences in informal care were found among those who had formal care. There were no differences between ethnic groups in which family members provided the informal care. MAs were more likely to require help compared with NHWs for walking (P<0.0001), bathing (P<0.0001), hygiene (P=0.0012), eating (P=0.0004), dressing (P<0.0001), ambulating (P=0.0304), and toileting (P=0.0003). Conclusions: MAs required more help poststroke than NHWs for assistance with activities of daily living. MAs received more help for activities of daily living through informal, unpaid caregiving than NHWs if they were not also receiving formal, paid care. Efforts to help minority and low-resource populations provide stroke care are needed.
Background: Even in nonpandemic times, persons with disabilities experience emotional and behavioral disturbances which are distressing for them and for their close persons. Objectives: We aimed at comparing the levels of stress in emotional and behavioral aspects, before and during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as reported by informal family caregivers of individuals with chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI) or stroke living in the community, considering two different stratifications of the recipients of care (cause and injury severity). Methods: We conducted a STROBE-compliant prospective observational study analyzing informal caregivers of individuals with stroke (IC-STROKE) or traumatic brain injury (IC-TBI). IC-STROKE and IC-TBI were assessed in-person before and during COVID-19 online, using the Head Injury Behavior Scale (HIBS). The HIBS comprises behavioral and emotional subtotals (10 items each) and a total-HIBS. Comparisons were performed using the McNemar's test, Wilcoxon signed-rank test or t-test. Recipients of care were stratified according to their injury severity using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Results: One hundred twenty-two informal caregivers (62.3% IC-STROKE and 37.7% IC-TBI) were assessed online between June 2020 and April 2021 and compared to their own assessments performed in-person 1.74 ± 0.88 years before the COVID-19 lockdown. IC-STROKE significantly increased their level of stress during COVID-19 in five emotional items (impatience, frequent complaining, often disputes topics, mood change and overly sensitive) and in one behavioral item (overly dependent). IC-TBI stress level only increased in one behavioral item (impulsivity). By injury severity, (i) mild (14.7%) showed no significant differences in emotional and behavioral either total-HIBS (ii) moderate (28.7%) showed significant emotional differences in two items (frequent complaining and mood change) and (iii) severe (56.6%) showed significant differences in emotional (often disputes topics) and behavioral (impulsivity) items. Conclusions: Our results suggest specific items in which informal caregivers could be supported considering cause or severity of the recipients of care.
Background: Research on caregiver identity in the context of memory impairment has focused primarily on more advanced stages of the cognitive impairment trajectory (e.g., dementia caregivers), failing to capture the complex dynamics of early caregiver identity development (e.g., MCI; mild cognitive impairment caregivers). Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop a nuanced understanding of how caregiver identity develops in family and friends of persons living with MCI. Methods: Using constructivist grounded theory (ConGT), this study explored caregiver identity development from 18 in-depth interviews with spouses (n = 13), children (n = 3), and friends (n = 2) of persons recently diagnosed with MCI. Findings: The overarching themes influencing MCI caregiver identity development included MCI changes, care-related experiences, “caregiver” interpretation, and approach/avoidance coping. These themes influenced how participants primarily identified, represented as I am a caregiver, I am not a caregiver, or liminality (i.e., between their previous identity and a caregiver identity). Irrespective of their current self-identification, all conveyed thinking about their “future self,” as providing more intensive care. MCI caregiver identity development in family and friends is a fluid and evolving process. Nearly all participants had taken on care tasks, yet the majority of these individuals did not clearly identify as caregivers. Conclusions: Irrespective of how participants identified, they were engaging in care, and would likely benefit from support with navigating these changes and their new, ambiguous, and evolving roles.
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate caregiver burden among caregivers of acute stroke patients with a biopsychosocial perspective in a Turkey sample. Methods: 72 stroke patients and 72 their caregivers were included the study. The mean age of the stroke patients included in the study was 65 +/- 12.39. The mean age of caregivers was 44.5 +/- 14 and 66.7% of them were females. Modified Motor Assessment Scale (MMAS), Standardized Mini Mental State Examination (SMMSE) and The Barthel Index (BI) were used to assess the patients with stroke. The caregivers were evaluated by using the Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale, Family Sense of Coherence Scale-Short Form (FSOC-S), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), WHOQOL-Bref-Short Form and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Results: There were significant positive correlation between the BCOS score and the SMMSE (r=0.36; p=0.002) and BI (r=0.22; p=0.05) scores. A significant positive correlation was found between the BCOS score and MSPSS's family (r=0.31; p=0.007), friend (r=0.41; p<0.01) and special human (r=0.46; p<0.01) sub-parameters. In addition, there were significant positive correlations between BCOS score and the physical (r=0.35; p=0.02) and environmental (r=0.42; p<0.01) sub-dimensions of the WHOQOL-BREF, also HADS Depression sub-score (r=0.93; p=0.01). Correlations between BCOS score and patients' age, MMAS, FSOC-S, scores and HAD Anxiety sub-score were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Conclusion: The cognitive function and independence level of the patients is associated with care burden. Furthermore, psychosocial features such as poor social functioning, quality of life and emotional health of caregiver have adverse effects on caregiver burden.
Background: Neuro-ICU hospitalization for an acute neurological illness is often traumatic and associated with heightened emotional distress and reduced quality of life (QoL) for both survivors and their informal caregivers (i.e., family and friends providing unpaid care). In a pilot study, we previously showed that a dyadic (survivor and caregiver together) resiliency intervention (Recovering Together [RT]) was feasible and associated with sustained improvement in emotional distress when compared with an attention placebo educational control. Here we report on changes in secondary outcomes assessing QoL. Methods: Survivors (n = 58) and informal caregivers (n = 58) completed assessments at bedside and were randomly assigned to participate together as a dyad in the RT or control intervention (both 6 weeks, two in-person sessions at bedside and four sessions via live video post discharge). We measured QoL domain scores (physical health, psychological, social relations, and environmental), general QoL, and QoL satisfaction using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Abbreviated Instrument at baseline, post treatment, and 3 months’ follow-up. We conducted mixed model analyses of variance with linear contrasts to estimate (1) within-group changes in QoL from baseline to post treatment and from post treatment to 3 months’ follow-up and (2) between-group differences in changes in QoL from baseline to post treatment and from post treatment to 3 months’ follow-up. Results: We found significant within-group improvements from baseline to post treatment among RT survivors for physical health QoL (mean difference 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39–3.06; p = 0.012), environmental QoL (mean difference 1.29; 95% CI 0.21–2.36; p = 0.020), general QoL (mean difference 0.55; 95% CI 0.13–0.973; p = 0.011), and QoL satisfaction (mean difference 0.87; 95% CI 0.36–1.37; p = 0.001), and those improvements sustained through the 3-month follow-up. We found no significant between-group improvements for survivors or caregivers from baseline to post treatment or from post treatment to 3 months’ follow-up for any QoL variables (i.e., domains, general QoL, and QoL satisfaction together). Conclusions: In this pilot study, we found improved QoL among survivors, but not in caregivers, who received RT and improvements sustained over time. These RT-related improvements were not significantly greater than those observed in the control. Results support a fully powered randomized controlled trial to allow for a definitive evaluation of RT-related effects among dyads of survivors of acute brain injury and their caregivers.
Background: Informal caregiving is an integral part of post-stroke recovery with strenuous caregiving demands often resulting in caregiving burden, threatening sustainability of caregiving and potentially impacting stroke survivor’s outcomes. Objectives: Our study aimed to examine and quantify objective and subjective informal care burden after stroke; and to explore the factors associated with informal care burden in Singapore. Methods: Stroke patients and their informal caregivers were recruited from all five tertiary hospitals in Singapore from December 2010 to September 2013. Informal care comprised of assistance provided by informal caregivers with any of the activities of daily living. Informal care burden was measured by patients’ likelihood of requiring informal care, hours of informal care required, and informal caregivers’ Zarit’s Burden Score. We examined informal care burden at 3-months and 12-months post-stroke. Generalized linear regressions were applied with control variables including patients’ and informal caregivers’ demographic characteristics, arrangement of informal care, and patients’ health status including stroke severity (measured using National Institute of Health Stroke Scale), functional status (measured using Modified Rankin Scale), self-reported depression, and common comorbidities. Results: Three hundred and five patients and 263 patients were examined at 3-months and 12-months. Around 35% were female and 60% were Chinese. Sixty three percent and 49% of the patients required informal care at 3-months and 12-months point, respectively. Among those who required informal care, average hours required per week were 64.3 h at 3-months and 76.6 h at 12-months point. Patients with higher functional dependency were more likely to require informal care at both time points, and required more hours of informal care at 3-months point. Female informal caregivers and those caring for patients with higher functional dependency reported higher Zarit’s Burden. While informal caregivers who worked full-time reported higher burden, those caring for married stroke patients reported lower burden at 3-months point. Informal caregivers who co-cared with foreign domestic workers, i.e.: stay-in migrant female waged domestic workers, reported lower burden. Conclusions: Informal care burden remains high up to 12-months post-stroke. Factors such as functional dependency, stroke severity, informal caregiver gender and co-caring with foreign domestic workers were associated with informal care burden.
Background: Knowledge on the processes of adaptation and learning after stroke are scarce, hindering the development of evidence-based public health strategies to promote survivors and family carers' health and wellbeing, across the post stroke trajectory. Objectives: This study aims to assess the available evidence on the processes of adaptation and learning after stroke, by mapping the main barriers and enablers according to the perspectives of stroke survivors and family carers. Methods: A scoping review was performed, following PRISMA-ScR guidelines. The electronic databases PubMed, ISI Web of Science, PsycINFO and SciELO were searched for empirical, peer-reviewed, original, and full-length studies on the processes of adaptation and learning of stroke survivors and family carers, in March 2021. Eligibility and data extraction were conducted by two independent researchers. The main qualitative data were explored by thematic content analysis and quantitative findings were synthesized. Results: The included studies, 29 qualitative and 1 quantitative, were published between 1994 and 2019. Most of the studies were carried out with small samples and without a specific focus on the adaptation and learning processes after stroke. Barriers and enablers to stroke adaptation and learning processes were influenced by physical, psychological and social characteristics. The poor physical and functional status of survivors, the inability to maintaining the Activities of Daily Living, emotional disturbances, lack of support and information, and changes in roles, were identify as main barriers to stroke adaptation. Using coping strategies and having psychological, educational, and financial support were described as enablers. Conclusions: Public health policies and practices should consider the physical, psychological and social barriers and enablers to the stroke adaptation and learning processes to ensure a high-quality long-term care centred on survivors and family carers. Key messages: Robust theoretical and methodological studies, specifically designed to deeply explore and describe the post stroke adaptation and learning processes, are needed. Understand the main barriers and enablers to adaptation and learning after stroke may be useful for developing health education interventions centred on survivors and carers preferences and needs.
Objectives: To examine the association between caregiver (CG) depression and increase in elder mistreatment and to investigate whether change in care recipient (CR) neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) and change in CG-perceived burden influence this association. Methods: Using 2-year longitudinal data, we analyzed a consecutive sample of 800 Chinese primary family CGs and their CRs with mild cognitive impairment or mild-to-moderate dementia recruited from the geriatric and neurological departments of 3 Grade-A hospitals in the People's Republic of China. Participatory dyads were assessed between September 2015 and February 2016 and followed for 2 years. Results: CG depression at baseline was associated with a sharper increase in psychological abuse and neglect. For CRs with increased NPS, having a depressed CG predicted a higher level of psychological abuse than for those CRs without NPS. For CGs with decreased burden, the level of depression was associated with a slower increase in neglect than for CGs who remained low burden. Discussion: This study showed the differential impact of CG depression on the increase in elder mistreatment depending on the change in CR NPS and CG-perceived burden. Conclusions: The present findings provide valuable insights into the design of a systematic and integrative intervention protocol for elder mistreatment that simultaneously focuses on treating CG depression and perceived burden and CR NPS.
Background: This scoping review mapped out the relevant literature, identified gaps and made suggestions on the subject of the health needs of family caregivers (FC) of elderly stroke survivors (ESS). Methods: The authors utilised the PRISMA‐ScR checklist to guide the scoping review. The databases PubMed, Elsevier and BioMed Central were searched for academic articles published in the English Language between the years 2010 and 2020 that met a pre‐set criteria of content on the health needs of FC of ESS. The process of selection of sources of evidence based on screening and eligibility of evidence reduced the initially identified 13,303 sources of evidence in the searched databases to five sources of evidence. The content of these five sources of evidence was mapped out on a charting table where data was summarised and synthesised first individually and then collectively by the authors. Repetitive and irrelevant data were removed collectively by the authors from the charting table. Findings: The gaps identified were a paucity of research on the subject of health needs of FC of ESS, lack of longitudinal and mixed‐methods research on the health needs of FC of ESS, sparse use of social sciences perspectives and theories, research that addresses specific physical and mental health concerns beyond general descriptions and gaps in information, social networks, interventions, health policy and systems. Conclusions: Future research directions were suggested and a limitation of this scoping review are addressed in the discussion.
Background: The purpose of the present study was to examine the internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the Caregiving Burden Instrument in Korean informal caregivers of stroke survivors. Methods: A descriptive survey design was used with a convenience sample of 208 primary caregivers of stroke survivors. Internal consistency reliability was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Construct validity was assessed using exploratory and known-group analysis. Results: Each subscale and the total scale demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency reliability. Exploratory factor analysis identified five factors: family support, patient’s dependency, physical health, financial burden, and psychological health, which together accounted for 62.7% of the variance. Known-group analysis indicated that caregivers with more than one year of experience reported significantly higher mean scores for the total burden score and its five subscales compared to those with less than one year. Conclusions: This 23-item instrument demonstrates good internal consistency reliability and construct validity. The tool can be used to effectively assess burden in caregivers of stroke survivors and the data obtained can form the basis for the development of family interventions.
Background: Neuropsychological evaluation serves a number of health-related purposes, but little is known about how the evaluation process is experienced by clients and their family members. In this article, we describe a quality improvement initiative that utilized a mixed-methods approach to explore personal goal attainment and satisfaction by clients and family members engaging in the evaluation process. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data collected over a 5-year period from a neuropsychological evaluation service at a tertiary geriatric care center. At the outset of the evaluation, 492 clients and family members identified goals to better understand the client's cognition and to obtain recommendations for managing cognitive changes; the large majority of these goals were rated as achieved by the end of the feedback session. Results: At service completion, 657 clients and family members completed satisfaction questionnaires, and over 90% of respondents endorsed the highest level of satisfaction. Qualitative content analysis identified clinician behaviors, quality of care, and environmental factors as important aspects of the client and family experience. Findings were used to improve the delivery of client-centered, evidence-based care. Conclusion: The results of this initiative demonstrate the feasibility and utility of incorporating client and family goals and feedback into routine clinical practice. Practical suggestions and relevant tools are provided to assist the professional psychologist in implementing quality improvement processes in their own practices.
Objective: Telehealth platforms have potential utility for providing remote access to supportive care to people with brain tumour. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of delivering supportive care via telehealth platforms to adults with primary brain tumour and family caregivers. Methods: A systematic search of PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus and Cochrane Library was conducted from 1980 to 1st June 2020 to identify eligible studies. Methodological quality was assessed by two independent reviewers. Results: Seventeen articles, reporting on 16 studies, evaluated telephone‐based support (5 studies), videoconferencing (3 studies), web‐based programs and resources (7 studies) or combined use of videoconferencing and web‐based modules (1 study) to deliver supportive care remotely. Caregivers were involved in 31% of interventions. Mean rates of accrual (68%) and adherence (74%) were moderate, whereas acceptability or satisfaction for those completing the interventions was typically high (M satisfied or very satisfied = 81%). Adherence rates were generally higher and clinical gains were more evident for interventions involving real‐time interaction as opposed to self‐guided interventions. Conclusions: Telehealth delivery of supportive care is feasible and acceptable to a high proportion of individuals with primary brain tumour and their caregivers. It is recommended that future research focuses on implementation outcomes, including factors influencing the uptake and sustainability of telehealth platforms in practice.
Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND) remains under-resourced across much of the world, including the global south. The lack of supports for ALS/MND is underscored, given the barriers to care, stigma associated, and need for intensive, 24-hour care, primarily provided by family, including vulnerable children and youth, 'young carers'. With little information of the care experience in ALS/MND in South Africa, this study sought to explore family characteristics and identify caregiving experiences and need of young carers in families living with ALS/MND. Methods: Using an exploratory mixed-methods approach, participants (N = 40) from 20 familes, were recruited from the two ALS/MND clinics in Cape Town and Johannesburg areas. Separate audiotaped interviews with adults living with ALS, adult caregivers and young carers were conducted. Findings: Young carers, both genders, ages 9–19, provided care up to 50 or more hours per week, including administering medications, toileting, and feeding the person with ALS/MND, with the majority reporting no training. Stigma, fear and lack of knowledge about ALS/MND limited how families discussed both ALS/MND and care provided by young carers. Families highlighted transportation barriers, and inconsistent access to care across regions. Parents identified emotional support, and in-home help to alleviate the burden of care on youth, acknowledging reliance on young carers due to cost of care. Young carers identified the need for education and people their age to talk to about ALS/MND. Conclusions: Results highlight the complex needs and interaction among families living with ALS/MND in South Africa. Data support the development of targeted support and education programs to address the need for culturally relevant interventions for families and their young carers living with ALS/MND.
Background: There are few illnesses as disruptive as motor neurone disease, a fatal neurodegenerative condition, where diagnosis introduces a clinical narrative of inevitable decline through progressive immobilisation into death. Recent evidence suggests that bereaved motor neurone disease family caregivers are more likely to be at moderate or high risk of complicated grief. Methods: Qualitative data from an anonymous national survey of bereaved motor neurone disease caregivers (n = 393) was examined through thematic analysis to explore the experiences of people who are at low, moderate, and high risk of complicated grief. Up to 40% responded to three open-ended questions: How caregivers viewed their coping strategies; the advice they had for others and what had been positive about their experience. Results: Ten themes informed the narratives of illness and loss. All three groups shared similar experiences but differed in their capacity to address them. The low-risk group seemed to recognise the uncertainty of life and that meaning needed to be created by them. For the moderate-risk group, while motor neurone disease was a major disruption, they could with support, regroup and plan in different ways. The high-risk group did not have many resources, external or internal. They felt let down when professionals did not have answers and could not see or did not know how to change their ways of responding to this unwanted situation. Conclusion: The differences in these three profiles and their narratives of loss should alert health and community service providers to identify and address the caregivers’ support needs early and throughout the caregiving journey. Motor Neurone Disease Associations are involved throughout the illness journey and need to invest in a continuum of care incorporating end-of-life care and bereavement support. Community grief literacy and enhancement of social networks are keys to improved support from families and friends that can enable the focus to be on feelings of empowerment rather than abandonment.
Background: Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are one of the main causes of disability and dependence that have a great impact both on the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. A majority of people with NDs receive care and support from the family, but there is no tool in Spain with which to measure whole-family QOL. The aim of this study was the translation, cultural adaptation, and validation of the FQOLS-Dementia into Spanish to assess FQOL among family members of individuals with NDs who live in the Spain-Portugal cross-border area. Method: The Spanish version was translated and adapted following the international guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation tests. A sample of 300 family caregivers was interviewed, applying an adapted version of the Family Quality Survey (FQOLS-Dementia). Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to validate the factor structure, and convergent validity was examined with Pearson's correlation coefficients of the global FQOL with the domains. Internal consistency reliability was determined using Cronbach's alpha. Results: The domain structure of the FQOLS-ND showed a good fit. In the convergent validity, it was found that the total score and the subscale domain scores were associated with the global FQOL score, except for the Values domain. Internal consistency of nine domain subscales was strong (α = 0.80 to 0.91), and excellent for the total FQOL (α = 0.85) and the global FQOL (α = 0.87). Conclusion: The FQOLS-ND presented good validity and reliability in caregiver families with individuals with ND, so its application shows its usefulness in detecting areas of improvement and intervention strategies for FQOL in the Spain-Portugal cross-border area.
Background: Family support during stroke treatment at home is crucial. However, post-stroke patients’ long-term care will be a problem for families, reducing the level of life satisfaction and physical burden for caregivers. Furthermore, families may experience depression. AIM: Analyzing family conditions related to physical, psychological, and spiritual conditions that receive home-based health worker interventions. Methods: Study implemented systematic review design with Prisma guidelines, initially with the identification of article sources, following by article screening, checking the eligibility of studies then appraised the selected articles. Three databases were used, Ebsco, PubMed, and PROQUEST. Only studies using quasi-experimental, pre-experimental, and RCT designs were included in this study. Furthermore, those articles were published between 2014 until 2019, full type article and conducted anykind of home intervention for stroke patients and/or family member. Keywords that were employed “Stroke, Apoplexy, Cerebrovascular Accident, Vascular Accident, Home Care Services, home care, Home Health Care, Domiciliary Care, Physical, Physics, Psychological Factors, Psychological Side Effects, Psychosocial Factors, Spirituality.” Totally, 19,528 articles were obtained. Finally, only six eligible articles met review requirements. Results: Implementation of home-based care lowered the physical fatigue of the family. In psychological responses showed that home-based care could reduce the incidence of depression and anxiety levels. Another impact was that the family felt helped because patients could more independently do their activities. Furthermore, the family always supported to motivate the patients to do their daily tasks. Conclusion: Home-based interventions for stroke patients can reduce depression, anxiety, and fatigue for the family caregiver.
Background: The consequences of a brain injury can introduce ripple effects within a family for years after the initial event. Objectives: In this study, we focused on the experiences of couples negotiating their relationship after stroke. Methods: We specifically concentrated on the changes to couples' interdependence and the relational ramifications of those changes. Findings: Interview data from 41 participants (including 20 people who have had a stroke and 21 caregiving partners) suggest that as individuals noticed changes in themselves and their partner, they also noted significant changes within their relationship. As couples encountered their new relational dynamic, they had to manage various struggles including how to provide assistance, how to communicate effectively, and how to reframe their situation. Conclusions: Overall, couples relayed a trajectory of post-stroke life that involved a level of mutual influence that did not seem to exist prior to stroke.
Background: Research demonstrates that increased self‐efficacy can help family caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's and other types of cognitive impairment experience lower burden and depressive symptom severity. Aims: The purpose of this concept analysis is to address fundamental gaps in the understanding of self‐efficacy in family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment, including updating the 26‐year‐old concept analysis with a contemporary definition. Methods: This study utilizes Walker and Avant's (2019) concept analysis method, an eight‐step iterative process that helps to clarify ambiguous concepts. A literature review was conducted from July 1993 through March 2019 using PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, CINAHL, and Embase. Inclusion criteria encompassed peer‐reviewed research articles and review articles that included family caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment. Results: Eight defining attributes of this concept are identified. The revised definition of self‐efficacy in this population is a family caregiver's confidence in their ability to: manage behaviors and other caregiving stresses, control upsetting thoughts, acquire medical information, manage medical issues, obtain self‐care, access community supports, assist with activities of daily living and other care, and maintain a good relationship with a relative, friend, or neighbor of an older adult with cognitive impairment. Conclusion: This paper utilizes over a quarter‐century of research to build on the original analysis by Mowat and Spence Laschinger (1994) and update the concept's definition. This analysis should provide researchers with a clearer understanding of this concept and a renewed emphasis on the importance of targeting interventions to improve self‐efficacy in this vulnerable caregiving population.
Background and objective: Health and social care may affect unpaid (family) carers’ health and wellbeing in addition to patients’ lives. It is recommended that such impacts (carer effects) are considered in decision-making. However, the scope of carer effects and range of decisions where carer effects should be considered is uncertain. This study aimed to identify: (i) how different categories of healthcare and social care were perceived to impact on unpaid carers; and (ii) whether there was consensus about when carer effects should be formally considered in decision-making contexts. Methods: A two round, online Delphi study was conducted with 65 UK-based participants (unpaid carers, care professionals, and researchers) with expertise in dementia, mental health, and stroke. Participants considered two broad forms of ‘interventions’ (patient treatment and replacement care) and two broad forms of ‘organisational change’ (staffing and changes in timing/location of care). Participants assessed the likely impacts of these on unpaid carers and whether impacts should be considered in decision-making. Results: Participants predicted interventions and organisational changes would impact on multiple domains of unpaid carers’ lives, with ‘emotional health’ the most likely outcome to be affected. Patient treatment and replacement care services (‘interventions’) were associated with positive impacts across all domains. Conversely, timing/location changes and staffing changes (‘organisational changes’) were perceived to have mixed and negative impacts. There was widespread support (80–81 %) for considering carer effects in research studies, funding decisions, and patient decision-making. Conclusions: This study highlights a perception that carer effects are widespread and important to consider in economic evaluation and decision-making. It highlights the particular need to measure and value effects on carers’ emotional health and the need to use a societal perspective to avoid cost shifting to unpaid carers when introducing interventions and making organisational changes.
Background: Outpatient medical follow-up post-stroke is not only crucial for secondary prevention but is also associated with a reduced risk of rehospitalization. However, being voluntary and non-urgent, it is potentially determined by both healthcare needs and the socio-demographic context of stroke survivor-caregiver dyads. Therefore, we aimed to examine the role of caregiver factors in outpatient medical follow-up (primary care (PC) and specialist outpatient care (SOC)) post-stroke. Method: Stroke survivors and caregivers from the Singapore Stroke Study, a prospective, yearlong, observational study, contributed to the study sample. Participants were interviewed 3-monthly for data collection. Counts of PC and SOC visits were extracted from the National Claims Database. Poisson modelling was used to explore the association of caregiver (and patient) factors with PC/SOC visits over 0–3 months (early) and 4–12 months (late) post-stroke. Results: For the current analysis, 256 stroke survivors and caregivers were included. While caregiver-reported memory problems of a stroke survivor (IRR: 0.954; 95% CI: 0.919, 0.990) and caregiver burden (IRR: 0.976; 95% CI: 0.959, 0.993) were significantly associated with lower early post-stroke PC visits, co-residing caregiver (IRR: 1.576; 95% CI: 1.040, 2.389) and negative care management strategies (IRR: 1.033; 95% CI: 1.005, 1.061) were significantly associated with higher late post-stroke SOC visits. Conclusion: We demonstrated that the association of caregiver factors with outpatient medical follow-up varied by the type of service (i.e., PC versus SOC) and temporally. Our results support family-centred care provision by family physicians viewing caregivers not only as facilitators of care in the community but also as active members of the care team and as clients requiring care and regular assessments.
Objective: Describe the different forms of emotion work performed by family caregivers of veterans living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design: Collaborators were provided cameras to take photographs illustrating their experiences as family caregivers. The meaning behind caregiver photographs was solicited using photoelicitation interviews and coded. Setting: Homes of veterans or other informal settings in 2 regions of the United States served by the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System. Participants: Twenty-six family caregivers of post-9/11 era veterans with TBI. Results: Caregivers described performing different types of intangible, and largely invisible, work centered on emotion management. Emotion work primarily involved creating a new normal, keeping things calm, and suppressing their own emotional experiences to "put on a brave face." Although having derived a sense of satisfaction and identity from their role, caregivers acknowledged that emotion work was challenging and sometimes stressful. The Photovoice method allowed care-givers to express through metaphor experiences that otherwise would have been hard to articulate and share with others. Conclusion: Findings signal a need for healthcare systems and providers to acknowledge emotion work as a potential source of stress and to provide multifaceted support for veterans and family caregivers.
Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, which leads to reduced health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) and autonomy in advanced stages of the disease. Hence, people with PD (PwPD) are in need of help, which is often provided by informal caregivers, especially spouses. This might influence the relationship satisfaction in patients and their spousal caregivers. Additionally, previous studies have shown that a reduced relationship satisfaction may result in mental disorders and reduced physical health. Objectives & Methods: The aim of this study is to identify factors influencing PwPD and their caregivers’ relationship satisfaction in a cross-sectional observational study. Results: Analyses revealed an overall satisfying relationship, measured by the Quality of Marriage Index, in PwPD (n = 84) and their caregivers (n = 79). Relationship satisfaction in PwPD mildly decreased with reduced HR-QoL and more severe depressive symptoms. Reduced relationship satisfaction in caregivers was significantly associated with decreased HR-QoL, higher caregiver burden, more severe depressive symptoms and increased neuropsychiatric symptoms in PwPD. Conclusions: Further studies are needed to investigate the influence of the identified factors over time and if relationship satisfaction has a reciprocal impact on caregiver burden, HR-QoL as well as mental and physical health.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and restrictions on everyday life worldwide. This may be especially challenging for brain tumor patients given increased vulnerability due to their pre-existing condition. Here, we aimed to investigate the quality of life (QoL) in brain tumor patients and relatives in this setting. Methods: Over twelve weeks during the first wave of the pandemic (04–07/2020), brain tumor patients and their families from two large German tertiary care centers were asked to complete weekly questionnaires for anxiety, depression, distress, and well-being. Information regarding social support and living conditions was also collected. One hundred participants (63 patients, 37 relatives) completed 729 questionnaires over the course of the study. Results: Compared to relatives, patients showed more depressive symptoms (p < 0.001) and reduced well-being (p = 0.013). While acceptance of lockdown measures decreased over time, QoL remained stable. QoL measures between patients and their families were weakly or moderately correlated. The number of social contacts was strongly associated with QoL. Age, living conditions, ongoing therapy, employment, and physical activity were other predictors. Conclusions: QoL is correlated between patients and their families and heavily depends on social support factors, indicating the need to focus on the entire family and their social situation for QoL interventions during the pandemic.
Background: Gliomas are the most common primary malignant brain tumors in adults. It has a devastating impact on the cognitive, physical, social, and psychological well-being of patients. Informal caregivers refer to family members, friends, and other carers of the patient who provide unpaid care for patients. They provide physical and psychological support for patients and the family during the disease process. Despite this, there is a paucity of knowledge regarding the experiences and needs of glioma caregivers across the disease trajectory. Methods: A systematic review will be conducted to identify the experiences and needs of informal caregivers of patients with glioma. Seven English databases and four Chinese databases will be analyzed. The search is limited to peer-reviewed full-text articles published either in English or Chinese, with no restrictions on the publication period. According to the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) manual for evidence synthesis, two independent reviewers will apply the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Qualitative Research to evaluate the methodological quality of each study. The JBI meta-aggregation method will subsequently be used to synthesize the data, eventually forming themes, categories, and findings. Discussion: The systematic review is expected to be the first qualitative synthesis of evidence pertains to the experience of family caregivers for glioma patients. The findings generated from the systematic review may be rewarding for researchers to improve care and quality of life for glioma patients and their family members. Trial registration: PROSPERO CRD42020222307.
Background: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a rare neurodegenerative, fatal and currently incurable disease. People with ALS need support from informal caregivers due to the motor and cognitive decline caused by the disease. Objectives: This study aims to identify caregivers whose quality of life (QoL) may be impacted as a result of caring for a person with ALS. Methods: In this study, we worked towards the identification of the predictors of a caregiver’s QoL in addition to the development of a model for clinical use to alert clinicians when a caregiver is at risk of experiencing low QoL. The data were collected through the Irish ALS Registry and via interviews on several topics with 90 patient and caregiver pairs at three time-points. The McGill QoL questionnaire was used to assess caregiver QoL—the MQoL Single Item Score measures the overall QoL and was selected as the outcome of interest in this work. Findings: The caregiver’s existential QoL and burden, as well as the patient’s depression and employment before the onset of symptoms were the features that had the highest impact in predicting caregiver quality of life. A small subset of features that could be easy to collect was used to develop a second model to use it in a clinical setting. The most predictive features for that model were the weekly caregiving duties, age and health of the caregiver, as well as the patient’s physical functioning and age of onset.
Purpose: This study generated an understanding of familial resiliency following an adolescent's stroke and what resiliency-related outcomes were important to this family. Design and Methods: A qualitative case study design was used to collect data during an in-person interview. The interview was transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings: Participants' narratives revealed that reengaging and establishing new activities, reconstructing identities, and changing perceptions regarding health and life itself were important resiliency-related outcomes. Conclusions: The findings from this case study highlight innovative strategies that can be used to facilitate resiliency during strenuous times in a family's life, such as following an adolescent's stroke. Clinical Relevance: Clinicians and service providers have the opportunity to help facilitate resiliency by identifying which protective factors and positive outcomes are most important to a family following an adolescent's stroke, allowing clinicians to assist in achieving these outcomes. This research illustrates ways for families to convert resources into personally meaningful resiliency-related outcomes. Further research is needed to study familial resiliency as a part of an intervention to promote occupational engagement.
Objective: Investigated clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a person-centred intervention for informal carers/caregivers of stroke survivors. Design: Pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) with economic and process evaluation. Setting: Clusters were services, from a UK voluntary sector specialist provider, delivering support primarily in the homes of stroke survivors and informal carers. Participants: Adult carers in participating clusters were referred to the study by cluster staff following initial support contact. Intervention was the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool for Stroke: a staff-facilitated, carer-led approach to help identify, prioritise and address the specific support needs of carers. It required at least one face-to-face support contact dedicated to carers, with reviews as required. Control was usual care, which included carer support (unstructured and variable). Outcome measures: Participants provided study entry and self-reported outcome data by postal questionnaires, 3 and 6 months after first contact by cluster staff. Primary outcome: 3-month caregiver strain (Family Appraisal of Caregiving Questionnaire, FACQ). Secondary outcomes: FACQ subscales of caregiver distress and positive appraisals of caregiving, mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and satisfaction with stroke services (Pound). The economic evaluation included self-reported healthcare utilisation, intervention costs and EQ-5D-5L. Randomisation and masking: Clusters were recruited before randomisation to intervention or control, with stratification for size of service. Cluster staff could not be masked as training was required for participation. Carer research participants provided self-reported outcome data unaware of allocation; they consented to follow-up data collection only. Results: Between 1 February 2017 and 31 July 2018, 35 randomised clusters (18 intervention; 17 control) recruited 414 cRCT carers (208 intervention; 206 control). Study entry characteristics were well balanced. Primary outcome measure: intention-to-treat analysis for 84% retained participants (175 intervention; 174 control) found mean (SD) FACQ carer strain at 3 months to be 3.11 (0.87) in the control group compared with 3.03 (0.90) in the intervention group, adjusted mean difference of −0.04 (95% CI −0.20 to 0.13). Secondary outcomes had similarly small differences and tight CIs. Sensitivity analyses suggested robust findings. Intervention fidelity was not achieved. Intervention-related group costs were marginally higher with no additional health benefit observed on EQ-5D-5L. No adverse events were related to the intervention. Conclusions: The intervention was not fully implemented in this pragmatic trial. As delivered, it conferred no clinical benefits and is unlikely to be cost-effective compared with usual care from a stroke specialist provider organisation. It remains unclear how best to support carers of stroke survivors. To overcome the implementation challenges of person-centred care in carers’ research and service development, staff training and organisational support would need to be enhanced.Trial registration numberISRCTN58414120.
Background: Regaining hand function is the top priority for people with tetraplegia, however access to specialised therapy outwith clinics is limited. Here we present a system for hand therapy based on brain-computer interface (BCI) which uses a consumer grade electroencephalography (EEG) device combined with functional electrical stimulation (FES), and evaluate its usability among occupational therapists (OTs) and people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their family members. Methods: Users: Eight people with sub-acute SCI (6 M, 2F, age 55.4 ± 15.6) and their caregivers (3 M, 5F, age 45.3 ± 14.3); four OTs (4F, age 42.3 ± 9.8). User Activity: Researchers trained OTs; OTs subsequently taught caregivers to set up the system for the people with SCI to perform hand therapy. Hand therapy consisted of attempted movement (AM) of one hand to lower the power of EEG sensory-motor rhythm in the 8-12 Hz band and thereby activate FES which induced wrist flexion and extension. Technology: Consumer grade wearable EEG, multichannel FES, custom made BCI application. Location: Research space within hospital. Evaluation: donning times, BCI accuracy, BCI and FES parameter repeatability, questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. Results: Effectiveness: The BCI accuracy was 70–90%. Efficiency: Median donning times decreased from 40.5 min for initial session to 27 min during last training session (N = 7), dropping to 14 min on the last self-managed session (N = 3). BCI and FES parameters were stable from session to session. Satisfaction: Mean satisfaction with the system among SCI users and caregivers was 3.68 ± 0.81 (max 5) as measured by QUEST questionnaire. Main facilitators for implementing BCI-FES technology were “seeing hand moving”, “doing something useful for the loved ones”, good level of computer literacy (people with SCI and caregivers), “active engagement in therapy” (OT), while main barriers were technical complexity of setup (all groups) and “lack of clinical evidence” (OT). Conclusion: BCI-FES has potential to be used as at home hand therapy by people with SCI or stroke, provided it is easy to use and support is provided. Transfer of knowledge of operating BCI is possible from researchers to therapists to users and caregivers. Trial registration Registered with NHS GG&C on December 6th 2017; clinicaltrials.gov reference number NCT03257982, url: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03257982.
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of home‐care nursing intervention on the burden of family caregivers for older adults surviving a stroke. A randomised clinical trial blinded for outcome evaluation. Methods: Forty‐eight family caregivers of older adults surviving a stroke took part in the study. The intervention group (IG) received three home visits by nurses in 1 month after hospital discharge for guidance on the disease and care activities for the elderly people. The control group (CG) relied on the service network that had access. The Caregiver Burden Scale was applied to assess the burden outcome 1 week, 60 days and 1 year after hospital discharge. Results: The caregivers of the intervention and CGs had no difference regarding baseline data. There was an interaction effect between the CG and the IG in the isolation domain (p = 0.037) and in the emotional involvement domain (p = 0.003) over time. Conclusions: These findings provide support for strengthening a care line for the elderly people after a stroke, with adequate discharge planning, indicating the importance of integrating care network services such as primary care, home care and hospital care with a view to achieving an effective care transition. It is also necessary to construct a specific instrument to evaluate other outcomes, such as the knowledge and learning of caregivers in relation to the care activities taught.
Objective: To understand the multiple and sometimes conflicting roles substitute decision makers (SDMs) of individuals in a vegetative state (VS), minimally conscious state (MCS), or with locked-in syndrome (LIS) perform while caring for a loved one and the competing priorities derived from these roles. Methods: We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews using a constructive-grounded theory design. Twelve SDMs, who were also family members for 11 patients, were interviewed at two time points (except one) for a total of 21 in-depth interviews. Results: Participants described that caregiving is often the central role which they identify as their top priority and around which they coordinate and to some extent subordinate their other roles. In addition to caregiving, they participated in a wide variety of roles, which were sometimes in conflict, as they became caregivers for a loved one with chronic and complex needs. SDMs described the caregiver role as complex and intense that lead to physical, emotional, social, and economic burdens. Conclusion: SDMs report high levels of burdens in caring for a person with a prolonged disorder of consciousness. Lack of health system support that recognized the broader context of SDMs lives, including their multiple competing priorities, was a major contributing factor.
Background: Authors of previous research have not yet analyzed the role of potential moderators in the relationship between depressive symptoms and quality of life (QOL). Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the moderating effect of mutuality between depressive symptoms and QOL in stroke survivor and caregiver dyads. Methods: This study used a longitudinal design with 222 stroke survivor-caregiver dyads enrolled at survivor discharge from rehabilitation hospitals. Data collection was performed for 12 months. We examined survivor and caregiver QOL dimensions (physical, psychological, social, and environmental), depression, and mutuality at baseline and every 3 months. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to test 4 longitudinal dyadic moderation models (1 for each QOL domain). Results: Survivors (50% male) and caregivers (65% female) were 70.8 (SD, 11.9) and 52.5 (SD, 13.1) years old, respectively. We observed no significant moderating effects of mutuality for survivors across the 4 dimensions of QOL over time. However, higher survivor mutuality was significantly associated with higher survivor psychological and social QOL at baseline. Regarding caregivers, caregiver mutuality significantly moderated the association between caregiver depressive symptoms and caregiver physical (B = 0.63, P < .05), psychological (B = 0.63, P < .01), and social (B = 0.95, P < .001) QOL at baseline, but not in environmental QOL. Higher caregiver mutuality was significantly associated with less improvement in caregiver physical QOL over time. Conclusions: Mutuality is a positive variable on the association between depression and QOL for both members of the dyad at discharge but may lead to declines in physical health for caregivers over time. Further work is needed to understand the role of mutuality on long-term outcomes and associations with increased care strain.
Background: Web-based interventions have shown promise for chronic disease management but have not been widely applied to populations with stroke. Existing barriers may inhibit the adoption of web-based interventions among stroke survivors and necessitate the involvement of informal caregivers. However, limited information is available on internet accessibility and usability among stroke survivors and their caregivers. Objective: This study aims to investigate internet access and usage in a cohort of stroke survivors and their caregivers. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 375 participants (248 stroke survivors and 127 caregivers). Descriptive statistics were generated using cross-tabulation. Comparisons with categorical data were conducted using the chi-square test, whereas the Mann-Whitney U test was used for comparisons involving ordinal variables. Results: Overall, 86.1% (323/375) of the participants reported having internet access. Caregivers were more likely than stroke survivors to access the internet (N=375, χ21=18.5, P<.001) and used text messaging (n=321, χ21=14.7, P<.001). Stroke survivors and caregivers with internet access were younger than stroke survivors and caregivers without internet access. The highest number of participants who reported internet access were non-Hispanic White. Smartphones were the most common devices used to access the internet. Email was the most common type of internet usage reported. Patients who survived for >12 months after a stroke reported higher internet access than those who survived <3 months (P<.001). The number of hours per week spent using the internet was higher for caregivers than for stroke survivors (P<.001). Conclusions: Future feasibility and acceptability studies should consider the role of the informal caregiver, participant age, race and ethnicity, the use of smartphone apps, email and text correspondence, and the amount of time elapsed since the stroke event in the design and implementation of web-based interventions for populations with stroke.
Aim: To develop and psychometrically test the instrument for measuring the knowledge of traumatic brain injury of informal carers. Design Instrument development. Method: Focus group discussions were conducted among informal carers and healthcare specialists in March 2017. The content validity was determined by the mean of the item content validity index. A reliability test was performed by the Kuder‐Richardson 20 and Pearson's correlation coefficient among 40 informal carers of patients with a traumatic brain injury in the rehabilitation medicine department of a tertiary hospital from August–September 2017. Results: The final 34‐item questionnaire covers the nature of traumatic brain injury, the consequences of traumatic brain injury, the rehabilitation process, and the role of the caregiver. The item content means ranged from 0.8–1.00, and the difficulty of knowledge items ranged from 0.18–0.98. The internal consistency reliability and correlation coefficient were 0.70 and 0.84, respectively.
Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive autonomy loss and need for care. This does not only affect patients themselves, but also the patients’ informal caregivers (CGs) in their health, personal and professional lives. Objectives: The big efforts of this multi-center study were not only to evaluate the caregivers’ burden and to identify its predictors, but it also should provide a specific understanding of the needs of ALS patients’ CGs and fill the gap of knowledge on their personal and work lives. Methods: Using standardized questionnaires, primary data from patients and their main informal CGs (n = 249) were collected. Patients’ functional status and disease severity were evaluated using the Barthel Index, the revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) and the King’s Stages for ALS. The caregivers’ burden was recorded by the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Comorbid anxiety and depression of caregivers were assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Additionally, the EuroQol Five Dimension Five Level Scale evaluated their health-related quality of life. Results: The caregivers’ burden was high (mean ZBI = 26/88, 0 = no burden, ≥24 = highly burdened) and correlated with patients’ functional status (rp = −0.555, p < 0.001, n = 242). It was influenced by the CGs’ own mental health issues due to caregiving (+11.36, 95% CI [6.84; 15.87], p < 0.001), patients’ wheelchair dependency (+9.30, 95% CI [5.94; 12.66], p < 0.001) and was interrelated with the CGs’ depression (rp = 0.627, p < 0.001, n = 234), anxiety (rp = 0.550, p < 0.001, n = 234), and poorer physical condition (rp = −0.362, p < 0.001, n = 237). Moreover, female CGs showed symptoms of anxiety more often, which also correlated with the patients’ impairment in daily routine (rs = −0.280, p < 0.001, n = 169). As increasing disease severity, along with decreasing autonomy, was the main predictor of caregiver burden and showed to create relevant (negative) implications on CGs’ lives, patient care and supportive therapies should address this issue. Moreover, in order to preserve the mental and physical health of the CGs, new concepts of care have to focus on both, on not only patients but also their CGs and gender-associated specific issues. Conclusions: As caregiving in ALS also significantly influences the socioeconomic status by restrictions in CGs’ work lives and income, and the main reported needs being lack of psychological support and a high bureaucracy, the situation of CGs needs more attention. Apart from their own multi-disciplinary medical and psychological care, more support in care and patient management issues is required.
Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neuron disease (MND) is a systemic and fatal neurodegenerative condition for which there is currently no cure. Informal caregivers play a vital role in supporting the person with ALS, and it is essential to support their wellbeing. This multi-centre, mixed methods descriptive exploratory study describes the complexity of burden and self-defined difficulties as described by the caregivers themselves. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data were collected during face-to-face interviews with informal caregivers from centres in the Netherlands, England, and Ireland. Standardised measures assessed burden, quality of life, and psychological distress; furthermore, an open-ended question was asked about difficult aspects of caregiving. Results: Most caregivers were female, spouse/partners, and lived with the person with ALS for whom they provided care. Significant differences between national cohorts were identified for burden, quality of life, and anxiety. Among the difficulties described were the practical issues associated with the caregiver role and emotional factors such as witnessing a patient’s health decline, relationship change, and their own distress. The mixed-methods approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of the burden and difficulties experienced. Conclusion: It is important to generate an evidence base to support the psychosocial wellbeing and brain health of informal caregivers.
BACKGROUND: For family caregivers, sudden stroke events and heavy caring works are stressful events. At present, controversies about the factors affecting caregivers' stress response and their correlation with coping styles still exist. OBJECTIVE: To explore the influencing factors and coping styles of mental health stress responses of stroke caregivers and promote caregivers to adopt positive coping styles for diseases and caring works. METHODS: The convenience sampling method is used to select stroke caregivers as the research objects. The general information questionnaires, Relative Stress Scale (RSS), General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES), Social Support Rate Scale (SSRS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire (SCSQ) are utilized for investigation. RESULTS: 205 valid questionnaires are returned. Analysis suggests that the influential factors of mental health stress responses of stroke caregivers include the course of the disease, the impact of the disease on economic conditions, obligation to take care of other family members, understanding of stroke-associated diseases, and whether the patient is at risk. Social support and self-efficacy are negatively correlated with stress responses, while negative coping style is significantly positively correlated with stress responses. CONCLUSIONS: By increasing social support and self-efficacy, medical workers can guide stroke caregivers to take positive coping styles, thereby reducing their mental health stress responses.
Background: Relatives of stroke patients should be an integral part of the continuum of rehabilitation services. Objectives: The objective was to describe their perception of the quality of the services they received in the context of early supported discharged (ESD), in- and out-patient rehabilitation services. Methods: Descriptive study using the Quality of Services Questionnaire for Relatives post-stroke (QSQR) completed online by relatives after the patient's discharge. It consists of 22 statements with respect to three subscales: 1) the training/instructions, 2) the information provision and 3) the organizational process of the service offer. Space is allowed for free comments and two open-ended questions. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively, and we used a content analysis for qualitative data. Results: One-third (30/90; 33.3%) of the sample are composed of relatives aged 55 and under, with a majority (81%) of women and 51.3% of spouses. The training/instructions and information provision were perceived positively with a mean % agreement at 85.0 ± 29.6 and 84.8 ± 22.4, respectively. The mean % agreement was 91.4 ± 17.8 for the organizational process subscale. A significantly higher score (p = 0,03; Kruskal Wallis test) was found for out-patient services (n = 20) as compared to ESD (n = 29) or in-patient rehabilitation (n = 41). Qualitatively, a lack of involvement of relatives was mentioned as well as a lack of personalized information about stroke and its consequences and provision of resources available. However, communication between professionals, their availability, and their professionalism were appreciated. Conclusions: Despite quantitative high scores, qualitative data allowed the identification of concrete avenues for improvement to truly and systematically include relatives in stroke rehabilitation.
Background: Rare and severe neurological disorders in childhood not only heavily affect the life perspective of the patients, but also their caregivers and families. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of such diseases on the family, especially on the quality of life and life perspectives of parents, but also on the families’ everyday life, based on the model of two diseases which have been well described in recent years with respect to symptoms and course: metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 2 (PCH2). PCH2 is a primary severe developmental disorder, while children with MLD initially develop normally and then progressively deteriorate. Methods: Using a semi-standardized questionnaire, 43 families with children suffering from MLD (n = 30) or PCH2 (n = 19) reported data on the severity of the illness/symptoms, on family support and the care situation, as well as on the circumstances of non-affected siblings and the parents’ work situation. In addition, the quality of life of parents and general family functioning was assessed using the PedsQL™ Family Impact Module . Results for the latter were compared to published data from families with children without any chronic condition using student’s t-tests for independent samples. Potential factors influencing the PedsQL™ scores were analyzed using Spearman’s rank correlation. Results: Parents of children with MLD and PCH2 reported significantly lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) compared to parents of healthy children (P < 0.001). Mothers showed significantly poorer HRQOL (P < 0.05) and were significantly more dissatisfied with their professional development (P < 0.05) than fathers, and this was seen in relation to their child's disease. Neither the form of disease (‘primary’ symptomatic PCH2 or ‘secondary’ symptomatic MLD), nor the severity of the child’s illness (in terms of gross motor and speech function) had a specific impact on HRQOL in families. However, the time from diagnosis and advanced symptoms in the terminal disease stage were experienced as especially distressing. Conclusions: This study illustrates that MLD and PCH2 affect mothers in particular, but also the entire family. This underlines the need for personalized care and counselling of parents and families, especially following diagnosis and during the end stage in a child with a severe, rare chronic neurological disorder.
Background: Persons with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) face issues with health, wellness, and safety that affect their ability to independently manage their care, even for individuals who are ≥75% independent in activities of daily living. These issues often lead to increased family involvement in managing the person's condition after discharge home. Methods: We explored health, wellness, and safety concerns after discharge home from inpatient rehabilitation from the perspectives of persons with TBI who are ≥75% independent in activities of daily living and their family caregivers. We interviewed 27 persons with TBI and family caregivers and used conventional content analysis to analyse the data. Seven themes related to health, wellness, and safety encompassed participants' experience. Findings: Health themes included: (1) attempting to manage medications and (2) navigating mental health difficulties. Wellness themes included: (1) working to stay physically active, (2) dealing with sleep and sleeplessness, and (3) adjusting to changing social relationships. Safety themes were: (1) addressing mobility challenges and (2) compensating for complications with cognitive functioning. Findings can guide the development of tools, supports, and resources to promote health, wellness, and safety of persons with TBI as they recover after discharge home. Findings on numerous concerns related to health, wellness, and safety suggest the need for implementation or development and testing of tools, supports, and resources to promote health, wellness, and safety of persons with traumatic brain injury as they recover after discharge home. Conclusions: Our findings can be used to educate healthcare providers and increase awareness of the nuanced challenges patients and families face after discharge home. Findings can also be used by providers to educate patients and families on realistic expectations for life after discharge.
Background: People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis become dependent on caregivers for daily activities and to perform self‐care activities at home. The family caregiver has an important role in the care. The patient decides and controls care but depends on the caregiver to implement self‐care behaviours. The quality of caregiver–patient relationships could influence clinical outcomes, as it occurs in other illnesses, so the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients and their family caregiver and how it impacts care, and patient and caregiver outcomes. Methods: We interviewed 22 patients/caregivers in a Neuromuscular Clinical Center in the South of Europe, between July and October 2018. A Grounded Theory approach was used, comprising line by line 'initial coding', memos writing, 'focused coding', advanced memos and categories definition. Findings: From the interviews three main categories emerged: 'reciprocity', 'loving to care' and 'changing to care' and four secondary categories: 'having support', 'sharing suffering', 'protecting each other' and 'thinking positive'. A stable and calm relationship between patient and caregiver, characterised by reciprocity, mutual help and affection affected patient self‐care provided at home and the caregiver burden. The concept of mutuality seems to describe this relationship, despite the patient's dependence on the caregiver. The relationship with health professionals and educational interventions could influence the quality of the relationship. Conclusions: Further studies are needed to describe the quality of the relationship in this dyad, to investigate the presence of mutuality and how it affects patient and caregiver outcomes.
Purpose: A strong interpersonal relationship after stroke is important for the prevention of depression in survivors and family caregivers. This study aimed to test the feasibility of quality of relationship intervention for stroke dyads called Hand in Hand (HiH). Methods: Sixteen dyads were randomized into either the HiH group (n = 8) or information, support, and referral (ISR) control group (n = 8). HiH dyads received up to eight sessions, with topics prioritized according to a 17-item screening tool. ISR dyads received up to eight sessions that included information, active listening, and referrals. Feasibility, acceptability, and outcomes data were collected for both groups. Results: The HiH and ISR groups were feasible and acceptable. Caregivers in both groups, as well as survivors in the ISR group, experienced improvements in depressive symptoms and other select outcomes. Conclusions: Findings suggest that HiH is feasible to implement with stroke dyads and that it merits further refinement and testing.
Purpose: This pilot feasibility study aimed to gain preliminary insight into the acceptability and usefulness of the FAB-PBS program for providing behavior support to families following acquired brain injury (ABI) in community settings. Background: The FAB-PBS program is based on a Positive Behavior Support (PBS) framework and principles of Family-Centered Care and Family-Directed Intervention. It consists of an education phase followed by individualized sessions during which the family is supported to develop and implement a PBS plan. Methods: A mixed-methods design was utilized, with feedback obtained from family members via short questionnaires and semi-structured interviews post education phase and individualized sessions, and at three-month follow up. Results: Two family members completed the full FAB-PBS program and reported high satisfaction with the program and increased confidence in providing behavior support. Findings also suggested an increase in desired behaviors and a decrease in challenging behaviors presented by family members with ABI. Conclusions: The FAB-PBS program may be an acceptable and feasible approach to increasing the capability of family caregivers in providing behavior support following ABI. Further pilot testing is required to inform the development of a larger feasibility study.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the meaning of the suffering experience of Korean ALS family caregivers. Methods: This is a descriptive phenomenological study that included ten participants using convenience sampling with maximum variation in a tertiary hospital in Seoul, South Korea. Colaizzi’s data analysis method was used to inductively determine themes and formulate meanings. Results: The three main themes derived from analysis were: “frustration with seeing a patient suffering”, “burnout at the cost of a life of dedication”, and “desperate need for help”. Conclusions: Caregivers experience high levels of suffering, which can come in various forms depending on the circumstances of the particular patient and family. Especially, distress from seeing a loved one suffering was another aspect of suffering in Korean ALS caregivers, reflecting strong family ties. At the same time, patients are in desperate need of help and support from their families. Thus, it is essential to provide care to lessen the causes of distress and meet the needs of not only patients, but also caregivers through family-centered care to improve overall quality of life for all involved.
Objective: This study examines explanatory models (EMs) of stroke and its complications among people living with stroke, and their caregivers, in two urban poor communities in Accra (Ga Mashie) and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Accra. Methods: Twenty-two stroke survivors and 29 caregivers were recruited from 2 urban poor communities in Accra and KBTH. Qualitative data were obtained using semi-structured interviews that lasted between 45 minutes and 2 hours. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed thematically, informed by the concept of EMs of illness. Results: Participants referred to stroke as a sudden event and they expressed different emotional responses after the stroke onset. Stroke survivors and their caregivers attributed stroke with poor lifestyle practices, high blood pressure, unhealthy diet and dietary practices, supernatural causes, stress, family history, other chronic diseases, and delay in treatment of symptoms. While the stroke survivors associated stroke complications with physical disability and stigmatisation, the caregivers associated these with physical disability, behavioural and psychological changes, cognitive disability and death. These associations were mostly influenced by the biomedical model of stroke. Conclusion: The biomedical model of stroke is important for developing interventions that will be accepted by the stroke survivors and the caregivers. Nevertheless, sociocultural explanations of stroke need to be taken into consideration during delivery of medical information to the participants. This study proposes an integrated biopsychosociocultural approach for stroke intervention among the study participants.
Background: Family of patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit (ICU) often immediately assume the role of caregiver to an individual with significant health care needs. The transition into this caregiver role may be sudden and unexpected; their experiences are not well understood. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore experiences of family caregivers in the neurocritical care unit in order to identify areas for enhancing patient- and family-centered care. Methods: This single-center ethnographic study explored the use of systems theory to investigate the perceptions, experiences, and attitudes of family/caregivers regarding their relationships and interactions between the patient, other family, members of the healthcare provider team, and health system after an acute neurological event in Argentina. Field notes from 9 weeks of direct observation together with transcripts from nine semi-structured interviews (transcribed verbatim and translated from Spanish to English) were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results: Nine themes emerged based on iterative thematic analysis, including: adjusting to a changed life, managing emotions, changing role, relying on faith, redefining recovery, participating in patient care, depending on clinical experts, el tratohumano, and finding unity in purpose. In the neurocritical care environment, an important intermediary role exists for family/caregivers and the patient, other family, and healthcare providers. Conclusions: The results demonstrate the potential for family, providers, and the health system to influence family/caregivers' experience with neurocritical care. Involving families as part of the care team could have implications for patient- and family-centered care.
Objective: To understand the existential transformations of the family caregiver of a person living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Method: Qualitative study based on assumptions of Martin Heidegger Existential Phenomenology, with 12 family caregivers of the person with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, in Alagoas. The testimonies were obtained from June 2019 to March 2020 and analyzed, categorized, and discussed based on the theoretical-philosophical framework adopted and thematic literature. Results: Phenomenological sense of the existential transformations of the family caregiver of a person living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, unveiled with the categories: Being the caregiver of the person living with ALS; Being responsible for decision making; Resignifying the existence in view of the possibility of loss; Spirituality influencing the transformation process. Conclusions: The family caregiver has an appropriate life due to the inherent vicissitudes of the disease, which provides moving moments that lead him to rethink his existence and to value life.
Background: Stroke is increasing in Africa and consequences such as limitations in the performance of activities in everyday life persist a long time. A family member might need to care for and assist the person who has had a stroke. The life situation of these caregivers thereby changes, which could lead to increased workload and new responsibilities in caring for which they lack but request knowledge. During the F@ce rehabilitation program, the caregivers received counseling, which is uncommon in the African context. The aim of the study was twofold; (1) to investigate the perceived caregiver burden and life satisfaction and, (2) to explore and describe the life situation for caregivers to persons that have had a stroke and received the mobile phone supported rehabilitation F@ce in urban areas in Uganda. Method: A mixed method design was used. Twelve caregivers took part in a semi-structured interview regarding their everyday life situation and responded to questionnaires on caregiver burden and life satisfaction. Latent qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the interviews. Results: Five categories were identified in the caregivers’ experiences of their life situation: Feels obligated but is just a natural commitment; a tightly scheduled everyday life; being the supporting relative; the caregivers´ approach as rehabilitators; and being supported by the rehabilitation intervention. The caregivers rated relatively high on the Caregiver Burden Scale and two thirds of the sample rated their satisfaction with life as a whole as dissatisfying. Further ratings on the Life Satisfaction checklist revealed that the financial, vocational, leisure and family situations were dissatisfying. Conclusions: Even if it was viewed as a natural commitment to be a caregiver when a family member had had a stroke, the life situation changed substantially for those who took on the caregiving role. Caregiving responsibilities were challenging as well as a heavy workload and a strained financial situation as many were giving up on jobs. The participants felt burdened and rated a low life satisfaction. The F@ce intervention was, however, expressed as valued and involved support and advice in their caregiving situation as well as information on stroke which relieved stress among them.
Background: Vascular strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability for adults. They impose high levels of burden on the patient, the family, and national healthcare systems worldwide. This study aimed to assess the effects of patients’ and caregivers’ characteristics on the perceptions of burden in families caring for a loved one living with stroke in Greece. Methods: Using purposive sampling, 109 dyads of patients and their respective caregivers were recruited from the Attica region. Patients completed a questionnaire that included personal characteristics and the Barthel Index, while caregivers completed a set of questionnaires—personal characteristics, revised Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale (BCOS), Personal Resource Questionnaire (PRQ 2000), and Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D). Results: Caregiving burden was linked to both patients’ and caregivers’ characteristics. A patient’s educational level, the number of family members living in the same house, the existence of equipment and facilities in the house, and the duration of provided care were associated with perception of greater burden. Regarding caregivers’ characteristics, those in good health had a significantly lower perception of burden. Higher PRQ 2000 scores were significantly associated with higher BCOS scores (less burden), and higher CES-D scores were significantly associated with lower BCOS scores (more burden). Conclusion: Caring for a loved one affected by stroke places a considerable burden on the caregiver. Systematic assessment and intervention strategies can help to identify caregivers at risk so that suitably targeted assistance may be provided.
Introduction: This study examined the effects of group art therapy on depression, burden, and self-efficacy in primary family caregivers of patients with brain injuries. Method: This was a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent control group and a pre- and post-test design. This study was carried out in one national rehabilitation hospital targeting 41 primary family caregivers of patients with brain injuries. Group art therapy intervention was carried out three days per week comprising 12 sessions over four consecutive weeks. The experimental group (n = 20) received group art therapy, whereas the control group (n = 21) did not. We used a time difference method to minimize the risk of contaminating the control group by sampling sequentially. Results: For depression, although there was a significant difference after the intervention (t = 3.296, p = 0.004), the mean difference score was not statistically significant between the experimental group and the control group (t = 0.861, p = 0.395). The experimental group showed a significantly greater decrease in burden (t = 2.462, p = 0.020) and significantly greater improvement in self-efficacy (t = −6.270, p < 0.001) than the control group. Conclusions: Group art therapy may be an effective nursing intervention for primary family caregivers of patients with brain injuries.
Introduction: Disorder of consciousness is a clinical condition due to severe brain damage. The impact of consciousness disorder on the family is characterized by a combination of biopsychosocial factors. The burden and suffering perceived by caregivers can cause psychological distress characterized by anxiety, depression, and physical illness. The aim of the study was to investigate the interaction between family dynamics and caregiver burden. Methods: We enlisted 35 caregivers of subjects in a minimally conscious state. Two skilled psychologists administered the Olson's Adaptability and Family Cohesion Assessment Scale and the Novak's Burden Inventory Caregiver Scale to assess family function and family burden, respectively. Results: We found that the caregiver burden correlates with the family adaptability and cohesion, as well as with enmeshment, rigidity, and disengagement. Conclusion: Findings suggest that the traumatic event does not affect the family structure. Families are able to maintain a balanced functioning and control distress.
Introduction: Stroke is a neurologically deficit acute disease attributable to a focal vascular cause and is one of the leading causes of disability and death. Disability caused by stroke has a major impact on the family members as their formal caregivers, who in turn have to provide the treatment and care with sufficient knowledge. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of education on ROM (Range of Motion) mobilization techniques to the informal caregivers on stroke patients in the care room of RUSD Dr. Soekardjo, Tasikmalaya. Methods: This is a quantitative study and analysis was carried out using non parametric Wilcoxon tTest. The total sample for this study was 27 respondents and were selected by convenience technique. Result: The result revealed a significant difference in the mean value on the study of ROM mobilization education on caregivers before and after the intervention (p-value<0.05). Conclusion: Family caregivers should seek more information on managing stroke using mainly non-pharmacological components on stroke patients in order to minimize stroke reoccurrence and also to prevent further complications.
Objectives: Stroke is the third leading cause of disability worldwide, influencing the whole family's health and well-being. Dyadic (i.e., stroke survivor and family caregiver) psychoeducational intervention is a potential alternative to disease management and support, targeting at the dyads of stroke survivors and their caregivers as active participants in partnership. This review aimed to evaluate the current evidence on supporting the dyadic psychoeducational intervention for the functional and psychosocial health of stroke survivors' and their family caregivers. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis Data sources: Nine English databases (Cochrane Library, Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, British Nursing Index, PubMed, Web of Science and Digital Dissertation Consortium) and two Chinese databases (CNKI and Wanfang) were searched to identify eligible studies published from their inception to April 2020. Additional relevant studies were identified from the reference lists and bibliographies of the identified articles and a manual search of relevant journals. Review methods: Studies were searched using keywords based on the 'PICOS' framework. The eligibility of individual full-text articles was independently assessed by two reviewers in accordance with the selection criteria. The risk of bias of the included studies was assessed using Cochrane RoB 2.0. The main outcomes were subjected to meta-analysis whenever possible; otherwise, narrative syntheses were conducted. Results: Eleven studies with 1769 stroke survivors and 1578 family caregivers were identified. The meta-analysis of pooled data suggested that the dyadic psychoeducational intervention had a significant immediate (<1 month) effect on family caregivers' burden (SMD = −0.25, 95% CI: −0.50 to −0.01, p = 0.04) and a long-term (≥6 months) effect on survivors' quality of life (SMD = −0.30, 95% CI: −0.53 to −0.07, p = 0.01). Subgroup pooled analyses indicated that the interventions initiated in hospitals could significantly improve the survivors' functional independence immediately after intervention (SMD = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.72, p = 0.01). Conversely, the interventions initiated at home did not significantly affect this functional outcome. Conclusions: This review supports the notion that the dyadic psychoeducational intervention can be effective in improving the stroke survivors' functional independence and their family caregivers' burden for a short period and the survivors' quality of life in the long run. However, its effectiveness is not conclusive because other psychosocial health outcomes for the stroke survivors and their family caregivers have not yet been found to significantly improve after intervention. Therefore, further large-scale randomised controlled trials with a high-quality design are warranted to evaluate their effectiveness in diverse functional and psychosocial health outcomes for stroke survivors and their family caregivers.
Background: Almost half of the stroke patients admitted to geriatric rehabilitation has persisting problems after discharge. Currently, there is no evidence based geriatric rehabilitation programme available for older stroke patients, combining inpatient rehabilitation with adequate ambulatory aftercare in the community. Therefore, we developed an integrated multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme that includes aftercare for older persons with stroke. We evaluated the effectiveness of this newly developed rehabilitation programme in comparison to usual care. Methods: A multicentre randomised controlled trial was conducted in eight geriatric rehabilitation stroke units and their collaborating partners in primary care. The study population involved stroke patients and their informal caregivers who were aged 65 or over, living in the community before admission to geriatric rehabilitation, and expected to be able to return home after discharge. The programme consisted of three modules: inpatient neurorehabilitation, home-based self-management training, and stroke education. For patients, daily activity (FAI) was assessed as primary outcome and functional dependence (Katz-15), perceived quality of life (SSQoL) and social participation (IPA) as secondary outcomes. Additionally, among informal caregivers perceived care burden (self-rated burden VAS), objective care burden (Erasmus iBMG), and quality of life (CarerQol), were assessed as secondary outcomes. Results: In total 190 patients and 172 informal caregivers were included. Mean age of the patients in the intervention group was 78.9 years (SD = 7.0) and in the usual care group 79.0 years (SD = 6.5). Significant favourable effects for the programme were observed for the subscale autonomy outdoors of the IPA (− 2.15, P = .047, and for the informal caregivers perceived care burden (1.23, P = .048. For the primary outcome daily activity and the other secondary outcomes, no significant effects were observed. Conclusion: The integrated multidisciplinary programme had no effect on daily activity of older stroke patients. However, patients participating in the programme had a higher level of perceived autonomy of outdoor activities and their informal caregivers perceived a lower care burden. The programme might be promising in providing adequate (after) care, although adaptation of the programme is recommended to increase its feasibility and improve its effects. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN62286281. Registered 19-3-2010.
Objective: to analyze the effectiveness of a support intervention on the burden and stress of family caregivers and on the stroke survivors’ independence level, compared to the Control Group. Method: a quasi-experimental study conducted with 37 participants (Intervention Group, n=20; and Control Group, n=17). The intervention lasted 8 months. The outcomes of the caregivers (burden and stress) and of the survivors (independence level) were measured by the Zarit, Perceived Stress and Katz scales, at the following moments: pre-intervention, the fourth month of the intervention and post-intervention. The differences of these outcomes between groups and intra-group and the effect size were calculated using the Mann-Whitney and Friedman tests (Bonferroni adjustment by Wilcoxon) and the Kendall’s W coefficient. Results: the Intervention Group reduced burden (p=0.039) and stress (p=0.009), mainly, after 8 months of intervention, which was not observed in the Control Group. The independence level did not change between the groups or moments (p>0.05). The intervention presented moderate effect size (p=0.45 and p=0.54). Conclusion: the intervention was effective to reduce the burden and stress of family caregivers, but did not alter the stroke survivors’ independence level, when compared to the Control Group.
Background: Anxiety and depression are common mental illness in stroke caregivers, resulting in significant stress to the emotion health of caregivers. Caregivers’ emotion can seriously affect the recovery rate of stroke patient, therefore, how to control and affect the caregivers’ anxiety and depression is of great importance. Method: Here three multiple centers observation and validation study were performed to screen out the risk factors for development of anxiety and depression in main family caregiver, and the effect of anxiety and depression of family caregivers on 6-month mortality of patients with moderate-severe stroke. Results: The severity of the stroke, the duration of care time and the medical payment associated with increased risk of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression of main family caregivers are associated with increased risk 6-month mortality of patients with moderate-severe stroke. Conclusions: Therefore, the support provided to the family caregivers might have positive effect on prognosis of the patients with stroke.
Background: Given the growing number of family members who provide care to adults with a disability or illness, this study examined differences in coping resources and mental health among family caregivers of persons with various health conditions. Methods: Within the context of Ensel and Lin’s stress paradigm, 234 family caregivers participated in an online study by completing validated measures of resourcefulness, spiritual practices, caregiver burden, anxiety, and depression. Caregivers were categorized into nine groups according to their care recipient’s condition. Results: The groups differed significantly on burden and resourcefulness. Greatest burden and lowest resourcefulness were found in caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and dementia. Caregivers across all groups were found to be at a similarly high risk for anxiety and depression. Conclusions: These results provide insights for tailoring interventions for caregivers, particularly those whose care recipients have traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia, who may benefit from resourcefulness training.
Background: Comprehensive outcome measurement in pediatric palliative care focusing on the entire unit of care, that is, the affected child and its family, is crucial to depict treatment effects. Despite its increasing relevance, no appropriate multidimensional outcome measures exist for the largest patient group in this field, namely children with severe neurological impairments. Aim: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a family-centered multidimensional outcome measure for pediatric palliative care patients with severe neurological impairment that encompasses the entire unit of care. Design: Based on results of a qualitative study, the questionnaire was developed by consensus-based generation of questions. It was validated in a multicenter prospective study employing exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses as well as reliability and item analyses. Setting: A total of 11 pediatric palliative care teams across Germany aided in the recruitment of study participants. Questionnaires were answered by 149 parents of children with severe neurological impairment and 157 professional caregivers. Results: The exploratory factor analysis of parent data revealed a 6-factor structure of the questionnaire representing: symptoms, the child's social participation, normalcy, social support, coping with the disease and caregiver's competencies. This structure was verified by a confirmatory factor analysis of professional caregiver data. Five separate items regarding siblings, partners, and further symptoms not applicable for all patients were added to ensure full multidimensionality. Conclusion: A validated outcome tool for severely neurologically impaired pediatric palliative care patients, the FACETS-OF-PPC, now exists. Due to its concise length and appropriate psychometric properties, it is well suited for clinical application.
Introduction: Caring for people with cognitive problems can have an impact on informal caregivers’ health and well-being, and especially increases pressure on healthcare systems due to an increasing ageing society. In response to a higher demand of informal care, evidence suggests that timely support for informal caregivers is essential. The New York University Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI) has proven consistent effectiveness and high adaptability over 30 years. This study has three main objectives: to develop and evaluate the Flemish adaptation of the NYUCI in the context of caregiving for older people with early cognitive decline; to explore the causal mechanism of changes in caregivers’ health and well-being and to evaluate the validity and feasibility of the interRAI Family Carer Needs Assessment in Flanders. Methods and analysis: Guided by Medical Research Council framework, this study covers the development and evaluation phases of the adapted NYUCI, named PROACTIVE—suPpoRting infOrmal cAregivers of older people with early CogniTIVe declinE. In the development phase, we will identify the evidence base and prominent theory, and develop the PROACTIVE intervention in the Flemish context. In the evaluation phase, we will evaluate the PROACTIVE intervention with a pretest and posttest design in 1 year. Quantitative data will be collected with the BelRAI Screener, the BelRAI Social Supplement and the interRAI Family Carer Needs Assessment at baseline and follow-up points (at 4, 8 and 12 months). Qualitative data will be collected using counselling logs, evaluation forms and focus groups. Quantitative data and qualitative data will be analysed with SAS 9.4 software and NVivo software, respectively. Efficacy and process evaluation of the intervention will be performed. Ethics and dissemination: This study has been approved by the Ethics Committee of KU Leuven with a dossier number G-2020-1771-R2(MAR). Findings will be disseminated through community information sessions, peer-reviewed publications and national and international conference presentations.
Purpose: To record the health promotion behaviors of family caregivers of stroke survivors, as well as potential determinants that could affect these behaviors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out through home visits in the Attica region using the convenience sampling method. The studied population included 109 survivors who had suffered a stroke and experienced functional problems, and their 109 primary caregivers, who were family members, lived in the same house and were fully responsible for their care. The dependent variables were the caregivers’ health promotion behaviors, while the independent variables were the survivors and caregivers’ demographic characteristics, survivors’ functional capacity, depression, social support and changes in caregivers’ lives from caring. Results: Better health promotional behaviors were associated with the following: patient having advanced age and a high level of functionality, caregivers assessing their own state of health as “good”, greater social support, a higher educational level and a higher income level. In addition, more hours of patient care were associated with a less healthy lifestyle for caregivers. Conclusions: Promoting the health of family caregivers of stroke survivors is crucial for both survivors and caregivers. For this reason, it is of great importance to detect factors that affect the health promotion behaviors of caregivers in order to carry out appropriate interventions and improve their quality of life.
Background: The American Academy of Neurology recently emphasized the importance of communicating with patients' families to better reflect patient values in clinical care. However, little is known about how decisions about continuing rehabilitative care made by family caregivers and healthcare providers working with minimally conscious patients are informed by conceptualizations of consciousness and moral status. Methods: We explored these issues in interviews with 18 family caregivers and 20 healthcare professionals caring for minimally conscious patients. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: Results suggest that family members and healthcare professionals share similar views of what consciousness is ("being there") and what it is indicated by ("a look in the eyes," and/or an "ability to do"/agency). They also share a belief that the presence (or "level") of consciousness does not determine whether rehabilitative care should be discontinued. Rather, it should be determined by considerations of suffering and well-being. Providers were more likely to view suffering as rationale for discontinuation of care, while family members viewed suffering as an indicator of and motivator for potential recovery. Conclusions: Findings can help optimize family-provider communications about minimally conscious patients by acknowledging shared assumptions and interpretations of consciousness, as well as key areas where perspectives diverge. Family and professional caregivers' interpretations of consciousness and suffering are implicated in decisions about continuing rehabilitation for minimally conscious patients. Family members and healthcare providers both rely to some extent on non-observable evidence to evaluate consciousness, which may be an adaptive and philanthropic response to clinical uncertainty. Acknowledging shared assumptions and interpretations of consciousness, as well as diverging perspectives, can help to optimize family-provider communications.
Objectives: To examine the implementation of an intervention to support informal caregivers and to help understand findings from the Organising Support for Carers of Stroke Survivors (OSCARSS) cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT). Design: Longitudinal process evaluation using mixed methods. Normalisation process theory informed data collection and provided a sensitising framework for analysis. Setting: Specialist stroke support services delivered primarily in the homes of informal carers of stroke survivors.ParticipantsOSCARSS cRCT participants including carers, staff, managers and senior leaders. Intervention: The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool for Stroke (CSNAT-Stroke) intervention is a staff-facilitated, carer-led approach to help identify, prioritise and address support needs. Results: We conducted qualitative interviews with: OSCARSS cRCT carer participants (11 intervention, 10 control), staff (12 intervention, 8 control) and managers and senior leaders (11); and obtained 140 responses to an online staff survey over three separate time points. Both individual (carer/staff) and organisational factors impacted implementation of the CSNAT-Stroke intervention and how it was received by carers. We identified four themes: staff understanding, carer participation, implementation, and learning and support. Staff valued the idea of a structured approach to supporting carers, but key elements of the intervention were not routinely delivered. Carers did not necessarily identify as ‘carers’, which made it difficult for staff to engage them in the intervention. Despite organisational enthusiasm for OSCARSS, staff in the intervention arm perceived support and training for implementation of CSNAT-Stroke as delivered primarily by the research team, with few opportunities for shared learning across the organisation. Conclusions: We identified challenges across carer, staff and organisation levels that help explain the OSCARSS cRCT outcome. Ensuring training is translated into practice and ongoing organisational support would be required for full implementation of this type of intervention, with emphasis on the carer-led aspects, including supporting carer self-identification.Trial registration number: ISRCTN58414120.
Background: We aimed to investigate the association between caregiver social status and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children with neurological impairment (NI) on home enteral nutrition (HEN). Methods: This was an ancillary study of a multicenter, cross-sectional study which explored HRQoL in 75 NI children on HEN. All the caregivers from the original cohort were contacted, and data on education level, occupation and marital status were collected. The association between social status and HRQoL was investigated using a multiple Poisson Generalized Linear Model. In total, 93 caregivers were included, responsible for the care of 71 children. The caregivers of four children of the original cohort did not answer the questionnaire. Results: Mothers with high-level education presented lower HRQoL in comparison to mothers with low-level (β: −5.97; 95% CI −11.51, −0.10; p = 0.027) or medium-level education (β: 4.85; 95% CI −9.87, 0.53; p = 0.044). The analysis of the subgroup of cases in which the main caregiver was represented by both parents gave similar findings, with education level of the father being negatively correlated with HRQoL. Conclusions: Our data showed that higher education level may negatively affect quality of life of caregivers of NI children. This could be helpful in identifying at-risk families and addressing supportive efforts.
Objective: To examine interrelations between care-related burden on informal caregivers and their proxy assessments of outcomes in people without natural speech. Design: A cross-sectional survey. Setting: Data were collected in January 2019 from a postal survey of informal caregivers of people without natural speech who are insured by a large regional health insurance company in the German federal state of Lower Saxony. Participants: n=714 informal caregivers of people without natural speech of all ages and with various underlying disabilities were identified and contacted via the health insurance company. Data from n=165 informal caregivers (26.4%) were obtained. Main outcome measures: Caregiver burden (self-reported, Burden Scale for Family Caregivers), pragmatic communication skills of people without natural speech (proxy report, self-developed), health-related quality of life of people without natural speech (proxy report, DISABKIDS Chronic Generic Measure - DCGM-12) and functioning of people without natural speech (proxy report, WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0). Results: The analyses revealed significant associations between caregiver burden on the one hand and both proxy-reported health-related quality of life (b=−0.422; p≤0.001) and functioning (b=0.521; p≤0.001) on the other. Adding caregiver burden to the regression model leads to a substantial increase in explained variance in functioning (R² Model 1=0.349; R² Model 2=0.575) as well as in health-related quality of life (R² Model 1=0.292; R² Model 2=0.460). Conclusions: Caregiver burden should be considered an important determinant when informal caregivers report outcomes on behalf of people without natural speech. Longitudinal studies are recommended to better understand the burdens experienced by caregivers when supporting people without natural speech.
Background: Family caregivers exhibit a wide variety of needs and concerns while providing care to stroke survivors after discharge to the home setting. Methods: We report the results of two related studies utilizing a multimethod design in which stroke family caregivers (N = 12; N = 10) were interviewed using open‐ended questions, followed by written caregiver ratings regarding the types of telehealth technologies they preferred for the telephone assessment and skill‐building kit (TASK III). Findings: Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis procedures with a provisional "start list" of codes in a matrix template based on the types of telehealth technologies in the rating forms. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze ratings with response scales ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. Average ratings for the telehealth technologies for the TASK III resource guide were obtained for the mailed hard copy binder (M = 3.58–4.13; SD = 0.35–1.00), an interactive website (https://www.task3web.com/; M = 3.86–4.17; SD =.72–1.07), an eBook (M = 3.17–3.67; SD = 0.84–1.17), and a USB drive (M = 3.75–4.00; SD =.82–.96). Average ratings for the telehealth technologies for the TASK III calls with the nurse were obtained for the use of a telephone (M = 4.36–5.00; SD = 0.00–0.89), FaceTime on an iOS device (e.g., iPhone or iPad; M = 3.73–4.40; SD = 0.79–0.98), or online videoconferencing (M = 3.17–3.50; SD = 0.82–1.47). Qualitative data revealed a wide variety of preferences for each type of telehealth technology, with advantages and disadvantages of each. Conclusion: The findings underscored the importance of offering multiple telehealth technology options to stroke family caregivers. Future studies are recommended that employ randomized control trial methodology to test theoretically‐based interventions that are based on stroke family caregiver preferences for telehealth technologies.
Disagreements and misunderstandings between informal caregivers and care-receivers have been widely reported, but the causes are unclear. The present article compares the views of people with acquired brain injury and their main informal caregivers (28 dyads, n = 56). First, we report a quantitative analysis finding that the majority of disagreements were about caregivers' identity. Caregivers saw themselves as less confident, less intelligent, more embarrassed, more independent and more overprotective than care-receivers rated them to be. Caregivers understood the care-receivers' ratings but disagreed with them' Second, we report a qualitative analysis focussing on how caregivers felt themselves to be perceived by significant others. Caregivers felt that the care-receiver, family members, the general public, health services and even friends often have negative views of them. The ‘caregiving bind’ is proposed as a cause of caregivers' negative identity. It arises when caregivers try to protect the care-receiver's identity by concealing the extent of informal care provision, with the unintended consequence of undermining the prospects of the caregiver receiving positive social recognition for the challenging work of caregiving. The caregiving bind has implications for therapy and points to the potential of friends and health services to provide caregivers with positive social recognition.
Background: Stroke caregiving has been associated with higher rates of caregiver burden, depression, and lower quality of life compared to non-caregivers. Little is known about relationships between stroke survivors' Cognitive/Emotional and Motor/Functional deficits and caregivers' outcomes.; Objective: To determine the relationship between stroke survivors' Cognitive/Emotional deficits and Motor/Functional deficits and caregivers' depression, burden, and quality of life.; Method: This is a retrospective secondary data analysis. The sample consisted of 109 caregivers of stroke survivors. Step-wise linear multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine if Cognitive/Emotional deficits and/or Motor/Functional deficits, were predictive of caregivers' depressive symptoms, burden, physical quality of life, and mental quality of life.; Results: The Cognitive/Emotional deficits category was a better predictor than the Motor/Functional deficit of caregivers' depressive symptoms, burden, and mental quality of life. The Cognitive/Emotional deficit score positively predicted both depression (β = .49, p < .001) and burden (β = 0.39, p < .001) and negatively predicted mental quality of life (β = -0.42, p < .001), though it did not significantly predict physical quality of life (β = -0.01, p = .90). The motor/functional deficits failed to significantly predict any of the caregiver outcomes (all p-values >.05).; Conclusions: The Cognitive/Emotional deficits appear to impact caregiver well-being more than the Motor/Functional deficits. Understanding the impact of Cognitive/Emotional and Motor/Functional deficits on caregivers can help clinicians identify caregivers at the highest risk for negative outcomes.
BACKGROUND After the initial phase of hospitalization and recovery, most patients return to home to live in community with numerous physical, psychological, mental, social, and spiritual health disabilities. Those conditions prohibit the individual from participating in the community independently and efficiently. Around three fourths of patients tend to receive help from family members for daily living activities. So, family caregivers play a significant part, since they bear a large portion of the cost of home care. The aim of this research was to assess the knowledge and practices among the caregivers of post craniotomy patients regarding home care of craniotomy patients. METHODS A descriptive exploratory study was undertaken on 36 purposively selected caregivers of patients undergoing craniotomy in Wardha district. Data were collected by using structured questionnaire and observational checklist during the month June 2020. RESULTS Awareness level with age in craniotomy-patient care givers years was assessed. 'F' value was 2.84 (DF = 3, 32), lower than measured 'F' i.e. 8.03 at a significant point of 5 %. Also, the measured 'p' = 0.0001 which was slightly less than the appropriate significance point. Hence, it is perceived that age is statistically correlated with their information score in years of craniotomy caregiver's patients. Knowledge level with the educational status of craniotomy-patient caregivers was assessed. 'F' value was 2.53 (DF = 5.30), lower than 'F' meaning level of 5.30 at 5 %. Even the measured 'p' = 0.001 was slightly lower than the appropriate significance point. Therefore, it is perceived that the educational status of craniotomy patient's caregivers is statistically correlated with their knowledge score. Knowledge score with the occupation of caregivers of craniotomy patients was assessed. 'F' value was 2.61 (DF = 4, 31), far lower 'F' i.e. 4.92 at a significance point of 5 %. Furthermore, the measured 'p' = 0.002 which was slightly less than the appropriate significance point. Thus, it is perceived that occupation of craniotomy patient's caregivers is statistically correlated with their score of knowledge. Practice association scores with a relationship with caregiver craniotomy patients were determined. 'F' value was 2.53 (DF = 5, 30), less than the measured significance amount of 'F' i.e. 2.93 at 5 percent. Furthermore, the measured 'p' = 0.028 was lower than the acceptable significance level. Hence it is perceived that the relationship with caregivers' craniotomy patients is associated with their practice score statistically. CONCLUSIONS Craniotomy caregivers were not having 100 per cent knowledge of craniotomy care. It is interpreted that an important significant relationship between knowledge score with selected demographic variables was found in the age, education, and occupation. And it is considered that an important significant relationship between practice score and selected demographic variables was found in relation with craniotomy patients.
Objective: To identify and examine research on telebehavioral interventions that support family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: A systematic review using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Studies published between 1999 and 2019 were identified through CINHAL, EMBASE, ERIC, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Results: Twelve studies met inclusion criteria; 3 used quasi-experimental designs, 7 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 1-group comparison, 1 was RCT with a 2-group comparison, and 1 was RCT with a 3-group comparison. Outcomes primarily focused on caregiver depression, distress, self-efficacy, anxiety, stress, burden, and problem solving. Eleven studies found significant differences between the intervention and control groups on at least 1 outcome indicator, and 10 of these reported effect sizes supporting clinical significance. However, studies lacked data on caregiver and injury characteristics, and most studies lacked diverse study samples that may contribute to psychosocial outcomes. Nearly all studies demonstrated methodological bias (PEDro-P M = 5.5). Conclusions: Caregiver psychosocial outcomes following telebehavioral interventions were generally positive, but caution should be used when generalizing outcomes due to lack of sample diversity. Additional research is needed to assess how caregiver demographics and injury severity moderate caregiver outcomes.
Purpose: Family disruption is often an indirect consequence of providing care for a person with traumatic brain injury (TBI). This article describes the development and preliminary validation of a Family Disruption scale designed for inclusion within the TBI-CareQOL, measurement system. Method/Design: Five hundred thirty-four caregivers of persons with TBI (service member/veteran n = 316; civilian n = 218) completed the Family Disruption scale, alongside several other measures of caregiver strain and health-related quality of life. Classical test theory and item response theory (IRT)-based analyses were conducted to develop, and establish reliability and validity of, this scale. Results: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, as well as Samejima's graded response model-related IRT fit analyses. supported the development of a 3-item scale. This final scale is scored on a T score metric (M = 50; SD = 10); higher scores are indicative of more family disruption. Reliability (internal consistency; test-retest stability) was supported for both caregiver groups, and average administration times were under 10 s. Convergent and discriminant validity were supported by strong correlations between Family Disruption and measures of caregiver burden, and smaller correlations with positive aspects of caregiving. As evidence of known-groups validity, caregivers of lower-functioning persons with TBI experienced more family disruption than caregivers of higher functioning individuals. Conclusions: The TBI-CareQOL Family Disruption scale is a brief, reliable, and valid assessment of caregiver perceptions of how caring for an individual with a TBI interferes with family life. This measure is well-suited for inclusion in studies seeking to support family functioning in persons with TBI.
To investigate the relationships between (a) the psychological status of the caregiver, (b) the specific features of caregiving as perceived by the cognitive therapist in neuro-rehabilitation, (c) the caregivers' subjective approach to neuro-rehabilitation, and (d) the functional outcome of the patient. Twenty-four patients with severe acquired brain injury and their 24 caregivers participated in this observational study. Caregivers underwent a psychological assessment examining emotional distress, burden and family strain; their subjective approach to neuro-rehabilitation has been evaluated by two specific answers. The patients' cognitive therapists responded to an ad-hoc questionnaire, namely the "Caregiving Impact on Neuro-Rehabilitation Scale" (CINRS), evaluating the features (i.e., amount and quality) of caregiving. Finally, the functional outcome of the patient was assessed through standardized scales of disability and cognitive functioning. The caregivers' psychological well-being was associated to the features of caregiving, to the subjective approach to neuro-rehabilitation, and to the functional recovery of their loved ones. A better caregivers' approach to neuro-rehabilitation was also associated to an overall positive impact of caregiving in neuro-rehabilitation and to a better functional outcome of the patients. We posited a virtuous circle involving caregivers within the neuro-rehabilitation process, according to which the caregivers' psychological well-being could be strictly associated to a better level of caregiving and to a better functional outcome of the patients that, in turn, could positively influence the caregivers' psychological well-being. Although preliminary, these results suggest a specific psycho-educational intervention, aimed at improving the caregivers' psychological well-being and at facilitating their caring of the loved one.
Background: The majority of stroke survivors return to their homes and need assistance from family caregivers to perform activities of daily living. These increased demands coupled with the lack of preparedness for their new roles lead to a high risk for caregivers developing depressive symptoms and other negative outcomes. Follow-up home support and problem-solving interventions with caregivers are crucial for maintaining stroke survivors in their homes. Problem-solving interventions are effective but are underused in practice because they require large amounts of staff time to implement and are difficult for caregivers logistically.; Objective: The aim of this study is to test a problem-solving intervention for stroke caregivers that can be delivered over the telephone during the patient's transitional care period (time when the stroke survivor is discharged to home) followed by 8 asynchronous online sessions.; Methods: The design is a two-arm parallel randomized clinical trial with repeated measures. We will enroll 240 caregivers from eight Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. Participants randomized into the intervention arm receive a modified problem-solving intervention that uses telephone and web-based support and training with interactive modules, fact sheets, and tools on the previously developed and nationally available Resources and Education for Stroke Caregivers' Understanding and Empowerment Caregiver website. In the usual care group, no changes are made in the information, discharge planning, or care the patients who have had a stroke normally receive, and caregivers have access to existing VA resources (eg, caregiver support line, self-help materials). The primary outcome is a change in caregiver depressive symptoms at 11 and 19 weeks after baseline data collection. Secondary outcomes include changes in stroke caregivers' burden, knowledge, positive aspects of caregiving, self-efficacy, perceived stress, health-related quality of life, and satisfaction with care and changes in stroke survivors' functional abilities and health care use. The team will also determine the budgetary impact, facilitators, barriers, and best practices for implementing the intervention. Throughout all phases of the study, we will collaborate with members of an advisory panel.; Results: Study enrollment began in June 2015 and is ongoing. The first results are expected to be submitted for publication in 2021.; Conclusions: This is the first known study to test a transitional care and messaging center intervention combined with technology to decrease caregiver depressive symptoms and to improve the recovery of stroke survivors. If successful, findings will support an evidence-based model that can be transported into clinical practice to improve the quality of caregiving post stroke.; Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01600131; https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01600131.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/21799.
Background: The interdependence between patient and caregivers' health, which is when the patients' and informal caregivers' emotion, cognition and/or behavior affects that of the other person is well documented among dyads experiencing cancer and heart disease, but scant research has assessed interdependence among those with brain injuries or dementia and Latina/o populations. This study aimed to assess the interdependence of patient and caregiver depression, patient functional independence and caregiver burden among non-Latina/o and Latina/o and patients with brain injuries and dementia and their caregivers. Methods: Patients and caregiver dyads (n = 96) were recruited from a trauma hospital. Participants completed measures on patient and caregiver depression, patient functional independence and caregiver burden. Participants provided written informed consent. Patient inclusion criteria included: (1) diagnosis with a brain injury or dementia, (2) minimum age of 12, (3) community dwelling and (4) ability to verbally communicate and complete study measures. Caregivers were only included if they were informal, unpaid, family or a friend. Nonparametric Spearman's Rho correlations were conducted to test the study hypotheses. Discussion: There was consistently a statistically significant positive relationship between caregiver depression and caregiver burden for all groups. For non-Latina/o patient and caregiver dementia dyads, there were associations between patient depression and caregiver depression. For non-Latina/o dementia dyads, functional ability was only associated with patient depression. For Latina/o patient and caregiver brain injury and dementia dyads, the only statistically significant relationship was between caregiver depression and caregiver burden. Health services should embrace family-focused mental health and respite interventions.
Purpose - Advanced medical technology has reduced the mortality rate among traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. This, however, has led to an increasing number of surviving patients with a major disability. As a consequence, these patients need attentive care which becomes an important issue for the society, particularly family members. Thus, this paper aims to review some of the salient roles, challenges and needs of the family caregivers in caring or nursing for their family members diagnosed with TBI. Design/methodology/approach - An inclusive search of the literature was undertaken to identify the family roles, challenges and needs in supporting and nursing TBI patients. Findings - Previous studies have shown that the family needs to address two important aspects of taking care of TBI patients, which involve emotional and physical affairs. Hence, it is essential for the family members to have adequate information on healing treatment, nursing and care methods, financial support, support groups, managing self-care and, more importantly, emotional and social support. Originality/value - This paper is not currently under consideration, in press or published elsewhere. In Malaysian culture, nursing disabled patients have always been a family responsibility. The role of nursing the patients has been done domestically and is considered a private affair. In order to execute the role, some put the patient needs as their priority and leave aside their needs and matters.
Objective: The study's main purpose has been to verify the profile of musculoskeletal disorders, emotional burden and health profile of caregivers of people bearing central nervous system injury sequelae. Methods: It is a descriptive study with 23 participating caregivers. There were applied musculoskeletal injury tests (Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire), overload tests (Caregiver Burden Scale) and the Physical Mobility and Transfer Risk Assessment Scale. Results: The caregivers' profile were as follows: average age of 52.9 years old, women, spouses, elementary school, responsible for providing care to the patient, residence without a salary, and an average working hours of 15.8 hours per day. A total of 47.8% received little guidance on how to provide care services. Older people suffer more with pain (spine and upper limbs) and stay more away from activities from activities compared to younger ones (p-value = 0.01). Overall tension, isolation, and emotional burden were impactful (p-value = 0.03). Conclusion: The caregivers are family members, low income, have musculoskeletal pain, considerable emotional burden and physical pain, as well as they need support from the health team.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Few studies have rigorously examined the magnitude of changes in well‐being after a transition into sustained and substantial caregiving, especially in population‐based studies, compared with matched noncaregiving controls. DESIGN: We identified individuals from a national epidemiological investigation who transitioned into caregiving over a 10‐ to 13‐year follow‐up and provided continuous in‐home care for at least 18 months and at least 5 hours per week. Individuals who did not become caregivers were individually matched with caregivers on age, sex, race, education, marital status, self‐rated health, and history of cardiovascular disease at baseline. Both groups were assessed at baseline and follow‐up. SETTING: REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 251 incident caregivers and 251 matched controls. MEASUREMENTS: Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), 10‐Item Center for Epidemiological Studies‐Depression (CES‐D), and 12‐item Short‐Form Health Survey quality‐of‐life mental (MCS) and physical (PCS) component scores. RESULTS: Caregivers showed significantly greater worsening in PSS, CES‐D, and MCS, with standardized effect sizes ranging from 0.676 to 0.796 compared with changes in noncaregivers. A significant but smaller effect size was found for worsening PCS in caregivers (0.242). Taking on sustained caregiving was associated with almost a tripling of increased risk of transitioning to clinically significant depressive symptoms at follow‐up. Effects were not moderated by race, sex, or relationship to care recipient, but younger caregivers showed greater increases in CES‐D than older caregivers. CONCLUSION: Persons who began substantial, sustained family caregiving had marked worsening of psychological well‐being, and relatively smaller worsening of self‐reported physical health, compared with carefully matched noncaregivers. Previous estimates of effect sizes on caregiver well‐being have had serious limitations due to use of convenience sampling and cross‐sectional comparisons. Researchers, public policy makers, and clinicians should note these strong effects, and caregiver assessment and service provision for psychological well‐being deserve increased priority.
Family caregivers play an important role in the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. The aims of this study were to describe preparedness, uncertainty, and knowledge regarding stroke in family caregivers of people who have undergone strokes and to investigate factors influencing preparedness. A total of 306 caregivers completed the questionnaires, including the Caregiver Preparedness Scale, the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale, and Knowledge of Stroke. The result showed that the mean score of the family caregivers' preparedness was 14.42, the mean score of disease uncertainty was 75.62, and the mean score of stroke knowledge was 10.41. Caregiver preparedness was negatively correlated with disease uncertainty and positively correlated with knowledge. Multivariate stepwise regression analysis showed that educational background, profession, caregiving experience and uncertainty degree of the family caregivers, gender, and age of stroke survivor could predict 45.90% of the total variation in preparedness. The findings suggest that demographic characteristics of stroke survivor and family caregiver, as well as caregivers' disease uncertainty, enable predict the level of caregiver preparedness. Medical professionals should pay attention to providing personalized and targeted approaches to maximize caregivers' preparedness.
Introduction Caring for stroke survivors creates high levels of care burden among family caregivers. Previous initiatives at alleviating the care burden have been unsuccessful. The proposed study aims to evaluate the effect of a tailored multidimensional intervention on the care burden among family caregivers of stroke survivors. Based on the perceived needs of family caregivers, this intervention takes into account scientific recommendations to combine three different approaches: skill-building, psychoeducation and peer support. Methods and analysis Using a prospective, randomised, open-label, parallel-group design, 110 family caregivers will be enrolled from Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt between December 2019 and May 2020, and randomly assigned to either the intervention group or the control group. The tailored multidimensional intervention will be administered for 6 months, including three home visits, six home-based telephone calls and one peer support session. The primary outcome is the care burden as measured using the Zarit Burden Interview. Secondary outcomes include changes in the family caregivers' perceived needs (Family Needs Questionnaire-Revised), coping strategies (Brief-Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced) and quality of life (WHO Quality of Life-BREF). Outcomes evaluation will be conducted at baseline (T0), month 3 (T1) and month 6 (T2). Independent t-test will be performed to compare the mean values of study variables between the two groups at both T1 and T2. After adjusting for confounding variables, analysis of covariance will be used to assess the effect of the intervention. In addition, repeated measures analysis of variance will be conducted to assess changes in effect over time. Ethics and dissemination This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt (P.0195). The results will be published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal, and findings will be disseminated at the local and international levels.
BACKGROUND: Informal caregiving of stroke survivors often begins with intensity compared with the linear caregiving trajectories in progressive conditions. Informal caregivers of stroke survivors are often inadequately prepared for their caregiving role, which can have detrimental effects on their well-being. A greater depth of understanding about caregiving burden is needed to identify caregivers in most need of intervention. The purpose of this study was to examine caregiver burden and associated factors among a cohort of informal caregivers of stroke survivors. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 88 informal caregivers of stroke survivors was completed. Caregiver burden was determined with the Zarit Burden Interview, caregiver depressive symptoms were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and stroke survivor functional disability was assessed with the Barthel Index. Ordinal logistic regression was used to identify independent factors associated with caregiver burden. RESULTS: Forty-three informal caregivers (49%) reported minimal or no caregiver burden, 30 (34%) reported mild to moderate caregiver burden, and 15 (17%) reported moderate to severe caregiver burden. Stroke survivor functional disability was associated with informal caregiver burden (P = .0387). The odds of having mild to moderate caregiver burden were 3.7 times higher for informal caregivers of stroke survivors with moderate to severe functional disability than for caregivers of stroke survivors with no functional disability. The presence of caregiver depressive symptoms was highly correlated with caregiver burden (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Caregivers of stroke survivors with functional disabilities and caregivers experiencing depressive symptoms may have severer caregiver burden. Trials of interventions aimed at decreasing informal caregiver burden should consider the potential impact of stroke survivors' functional disability and the presence of depressive symptoms.
Objective: To examine the effectiveness of the Therapeutic Couples Intervention (TCI) on caregiver needs and burden after brain injury. Research Method: Individuals with brain injury and their intimate partners/caregivers (n = 75) participated in a 2-arm, parallel, randomized trial with a waitlist control. The TCI consisted of 5 2-hr sessions, with a sixth optional session for parents. The Family Needs Questionnaire-R (FNQ-R) and the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) were secondary outcome measures. Results: After adjusting for baseline characteristics, caregivers in the TCI group demonstrated reduction in unmet needs for 5 of the 6 FNQ-R subscales, whereas those in the waitlist control group did not. ZBI scores improved significantly for TCI caregivers but not for controls. At the 3-month follow-up, benefits were maintained for the 2B1 and 4 of the 6 FNQ-R subscales (Health Information. Emotional Support, Professional Support, and Community Support Network). Conclusions: The present investigation provided evidence that, following brain injury, a structured couples intervention can reduce unmet needs and burden in caregivers. Future multicenter research examining long-term durability of treatment gains and specific characteristics of positive responders is warranted.
Objective: Caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently experience anxiety related to the caregiver role. Often this is due to a caregiver's perceived need to avoid people and situations that might upset or "trigger" the care recipient. There are currently no self-report measures that capture these feelings; thus, this article describes the development and preliminary validation efforts for the TBI-Caregiver Quality of Life (CareQOL) Caregiver Vigilance item bank. Design: A sample of 532 caregivers of civilians (n = 218) or service members/veterans (SMVs; n = 314) with TBI completed 32 caregiver vigilance items, other measures of health-related quality of life (RAND-12, Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System [PROMIS] Depression, PROMIS Social Isolation, Caregiver Appraisal Scale), and the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4. Results: The final item bank contains 18 items, as supported by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, item response theory graded response modeling (GRM), and differential item functioning investigations. Expert review and GRM calibration data informed the selection of a 6-item short form and programming of a computer adaptive test. Internal consistency reliability for the different administration formats were excellent (reliability coefficients = .90). Three-week test-retest stability was supported (i.e., r = .78). Correlations between vigilance and other self-report measures supported convergent and discriminant validity (0.01 = r = .69). Known-groups validity was also supported. Conclusions: The new TBI-CareQOL Caregiver Vigilance computer adaptive test and corresponding 6-item short form were developed using established rigorous measurement development standards, providing the first self-report measure to evaluate caregiver vigilance. This development work indicates that this measure exhibits strong psychometric properties.
Purpose To provide a systematic overview of current qualitative systematic reviews and metasyntheses of patients' and informal carers' experiences with rehabilitation and life after stroke following discharge. Method A systematic literature search was performed based on PRISMA guidelines. Nine databases were systematically searched by a university librarian. The search yielded 1093 unique entries and screening by title/abstract identified 60 reviews for potential inclusion. After full-text assessment by two independent observers, 11 reviews satisfied the inclusion criteria. Following quality appraisal, four studies were excluded. Results Seven qualitative reviews (containing 108 primary studies) were included: five reviews of patients' experiences and two reviews of carers' experiences. Stroke causes profound disruption of life as known, and both patients and carers must engage in a process of adapting and rebuilding a post-stroke life and identity. This process of rehabilitation is described as temperamental and unstable rather than progressive. From the reviews, five key experiences in this process are identified: autonomy, uncertainty, engagement, hope and social relations. Conclusions The need for broad, qualitative syntheses of stroke patients' experiences is currently fulfilled. Future qualitative reviews could focus more on implications for practice, e.g., by grading the quality of the metafindings. Implications for Rehabilitation Stroke is a profound disruption of life as known, and patients and carers value information that helps them prepare for and adjust to this new situation. Optimal rehabilitation is a main concern and goal for patients and carers, and thus carers may be a valuable asset to professionals in the rehabilitation process. Practical and emotional support is important for patients and carers, and rehabilitation professionals should be aware of the increased risk of social isolation post-stroke. Hope is a strong motivational factor and coping strategy for patients and carers. However, as hope may wane in the case of continued residual impairment, rehabilitation professionals should prepare patients and carers for this situation.
Objective: Traumatic brain injury represents a major public health concern, particularly in low- and middle-income countries like in Latin America. Family members are often caregivers for individuals with traumatic brain injury, which can result in significant stress. Research is needed to examine depression and quality of the caregiving relationship in these dyads. This study examined relationship quality and depression longitudinally after traumatic brain injury within the caregiving relationship. Design: Dyads (N = 109) composed of individuals with traumatic brain injury and their caregivers were recruited from three hospitals in Mexico and Colombia. They self-reported depression and relationship satisfaction during hospitalization and at 2 and 4 mos after hospitalization. Results: A 2-lag Actor Partner Interdependence Model demonstrated that patients and caregivers reporting high relationship satisfaction at baseline experienced lower depression 2 mos later, which then predicted higher caregiver relationship satisfaction at 4 mos. Moreover, patients with high relationship satisfaction at baseline had caregivers with lower depression at 2 mos, which was then associated with patients' higher satisfaction at 4 mos. Conclusions: Within individuals with traumatic brain injury and caregivers, depression and relationship satisfaction seem to be inversely related. Furthermore, patients' and caregivers' depression and relationship satisfaction impact each other over time, demonstrating interdependence within the caregiving relationship.
Background: Informal caregivers for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) face a range of unique issues, and racial/ethnic group differences in caregiver challenges are poorly understood. We undertook a scoping study of peer-reviewed literature to assess the quantity and quality of available research describing differences by race/ethnicity in informal caregiving roles and burden. Methods: Using Arksey and O'Malley's framework and guided by the Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews, we conducted electronic searches of PubMed, CINAHL, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, Embase, and Scopus to identify peer-reviewed studies that examined TBI informal caregiver burden and reported on the influences of race or ethnicity. Results: Among 4523 unique publications identified and screened, 11 studies included sufficient race/ethnicity data and were included in the analysis. Of these, six studies described civilian populations and five described military Veterans Affairs (VA). Included studies revealed that nonwhite caregivers and white caregivers use different approaches and coping strategies in their caregiving role. Some studies found differences in caregiver burden by race or ethnicity, others did not. Most were limited by a small sample size and overdependence on assessment tools not validated for the purposes or populations for which they were used. This was particularly true for race/ethnicity as a factor in TBI caregiver burden in VA groups, where essential characteristics moderate the association of race/ethnicity with socioeconomic factors. Conclusions: This scoping study highlights the paucity of information on race/ethnicity as a factor in TBI caregiver burden and roles, and suggests that innovative and alternative approaches to research are needed to explore needed changes in practice.
Constructs from positive psychology were employed to create an explicit model of caregiver resilience. Predictive and mediating relationships among resilience and related variables (personality, coping, self-efficacy, hope, social support) were then tested for their association with burden and psychological adjustment among family members caring for relatives with severe TBI. Family participants ( n = 131) from six rehabilitation units from New South Wales and Queensland completed assessments which elicited explanatory (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Ways of Coping Questionnaire), mediating (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Herth Hope Scale, Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey), and caregiver outcome (Caregiver Burden Scale, Mental Health sub-Scale-SF36, General Health Questionnaire, and Positive and Negative Affect Scale) variables. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) showed that resilience had a direct effect on positive affect in caregivers. Resilience also played a protective role in relation to two variables associated with caregiver vulnerability: an indirect association with caregiver burden mediated through social support; a direct effect on hope, which, in turn, was associated with positive mental health. Positive mental health then played a buffering role in relation to psychological distress and negative affect. Resilience, in combination with other psychological attributes, was associated with reduced morbidity among family caregivers after severe TBI.
Background: This study investigated the impact of stress on levels of depression and ill health as an indication of psychological coping. The research sample consisted of 80 family caregivers (who are members of Headway Gauteng, located in Johannesburg, South Africa) of patients with acquired brain injury.; Methods: A mixed method design of data collection was utilised that included self-report procedures (structured questionnaires and interviews) and post-interview content analyses. In addition, two individually administered measures that have been widely used in clinical practice and research were administered (a stress symptom checklist and the Beck Depression Inventory).; Results: The majority of the research participants experienced high levels of stress along with an inordinate physical and mental health impact indicating that they were not able to cope up with the ongoing chronic stress of caregiving.; Conclusion: Findings provide compelling evidence of the value of psychological screening for elevated stress and poor coping in family members caring for a patient with acquired brain injury in a resource-limited healthcare society. We recommend a collaborative effort between medical and psychological health practitioners in order to ensure a holistic and inclusive approach towards treatment procedures and interventions to improve coping skills in family members caring for a patient with acquired brain injury.
In the last decade, an increasing number of qualitative studies sought to investigate the dynamics of various dyads by conducting in‐depth, multiple family member interviews. The emphasis in the methodological literature dealing with this type of research is primarily on the data collection process, and much less on the development of methods suitable for the analysis of the data thus derived, especially with regard to dyads consisting of family members belonging to different systems: families of origin or nuclear families. The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for dyadic analysis based on examining the dynamics of the evolving relationships between key caregivers of a family member with brain injury. The model includes inductive and abductive phases of analysis, and it is based on an ecological‐systemic perspective. The benefits of this model are highlighted, and its potential contribution is further discussed.
The main aim was to evaluate the measurement properties of the Family Needs Questionnaire-Revised (FNQ-R) in family members of individuals living with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). A total of 309 family members of individuals with severe TBI from Colombia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway and Spain participated. Rasch analysis of the FNQ-R and its 6 subscales was conducted. The Rasch analysis indicated a lack of fit of the 37-item FNQ-R to one single underlying construct of needs, and less than half of the items were invariant across the countries. Misfit of single items was revealed in the Need for Health Information, Need for Emotional Support, Need for Instrumental Support, Need for Professional Support and Need for Community Support Network subscales. Fit to the Rasch model was obtained after removal of misfitting items. The Involvement in Care subscale had too few items to be adequately assessed by the Rasch approach. The FNQ-R is a well-targeted instrument for assessing the unmet needs of caregivers regarding the need for health information, emotional support, professional support and a community support network after some scoring adjustment and the removal of misfitting items. Caution should be taken when comparing responses across countries.
In this cross-sectional study, we assess associated factors of burden in spouse-caregivers of patients with acquired brain injury (ABI) in the chronic phase. 35 spouse-caregivers (71% female, mean age ± SD : 55.7 ± 11.1 y) of patients with mild/moderate ABI (29% female, mean age ± SD : 57.5 ± 10.7 y), admitted to the intensive rehabilitation unit of the Institute S. Anna (Crotone, Italy) between January 2013 and December 2017, were contacted 2 years postinjury and asked to complete a series of questionnaires. The outcome measure was the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI) test, while several demographical and clinical data were considered as predictive factors. Two years after injury, a high level of burden was reported in 34.2% of spouse-caregivers. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses revealed that caring for a patient with more severe disability (as measured by the Barthel Index scale) and the family life cycle (from the initial phase of engagement to marriage with adult children) explain the vast majority of variance for higher caregiver burden. The functional clinical status and the stages through which a family may pass over time were identified as areas in which the spouse-caregiver of ABI patients experienced high levels of burden in the chronic phase.
Purpose: This study aims to investigate the level of strain and various influencing factors among informal care providers of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a single center in Malaysia via recruiting care providers of patients with TBI. The modified caregiver strain index (MCSI) questionnaires were utilized to ascertain the level of strain. The demographic data of informal care providers were also obtained. Independent sample t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and a linear regression model were processed for data analysis. Results: A total of 140 informal care providers were included in the study. More than half of informal care providers claimed to have strain (54.3%). Factors associated with increased strain include receiving tertiary education, being of Chinese background, and employed experience higher strain level. Informal care providers with characteristics such as being single, retired and provided care for 5 years experienced a lower level of strain. Conclusion: Guidance on integrating the TBI knowledge into practice, assessing the care provider's level of strain regularly and providing supportive measures may aid in supporting informal care providers at risk.
Aim: Life changes due to the sudden onset of acquired brain injury (ABI) are drastic personal and social changes that require adaptation and are also an important indicator of the quality of life of family caregivers. However, there are no instruments for evaluating life change adaptation among family caregivers of individuals with acquired brain injury. This study aimed to develop the Life Change Adaptation Scale (LCAS) for family caregivers of individuals with ABI and examine its reliability and validity. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-reported questionnaire. A total of 1622 family caregivers of individuals with ABI who belonged to 82 associations for families of individuals with ABI were selected as eligible participants. The construct validity was evaluated using a confirmatory factor analysis. Internal consistency was calculated using Cronbach's alpha. The K6 was also administered to assess the criterion-related validity of the LCAS. Results: In total, 339 valid responses were received. The confirmatory factor analysis identified eight items from two domains, "Changes in the appraisal of caregiving resources" and "Changes in the health belief as a caregiver" (goodness of fit index = 0.963, adjusted goodness of fit index = 0.926, comparative fit index = 0.986, root mean square error of approximation = 0.043.) Cronbach's alpha was 0.84. The LCAS was negatively correlated with the K6 (r = -0.504; P<0.001). Conclusions: The LCAS is a brief, easy-to-administer instrument that is reliable and valid for family caregivers of individuals with ABI. This study contributes to the assessment and identification by family caregivers of individuals with ABI who require aid in adapting to life changes. Further research should be undertaken to verify the predictive value in a longitudinal study and to attempt to apply the LCAS to assess a broader range of subjects in a wider range of settings.
Objective: The impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) extends beyond the person who was injured. Family caregivers of adults with moderate to severe TBI frequently report increased burden, stress and depression. Few studies have examined the well-being of family members in the mild TBI population despite the latter representing up to 95% of all TBIs. Methods: Five areas of well-being were examined in 99 family members (including parents, partners, siblings, other relatives, adult children, friends or neighbours) of adults (aged >= 16 years) with mild TBI. At 6- and 12-month post-injury, family members completed the Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale, Short Form-36 Health Survey, EQ-5D-3L, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Outcomes and change over time and associated factors were examined. Results: At 6 months, group mean scores for health-related quality of life for mental and physical components and overall health status were similar to the New Zealand (NZ) population. Mean scores for sleep, anxiety and depression were below clinically significant thresholds. From 6 to 12 months, there were significant improvements in Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale scores by 2.61 (95% confidence interval: 0.72-4.49), health-related quality of life (mental component) and EQ-5D-3L overall health (P= 0.01). Minimally clinically important differences were observed in overall health, anxiety, health-related quality of life and depression at 12 months. Female family members reported significant improvements in physical health over time, and more positive life changes were reported by those caring for males with TBI. Conclusions: The findings suggest diminished burden over time for family members of adults with mild TBI.
Background/aims: Evidence-based inpatient caregiver training may ensure that caregiver needs are met and hospital readmission costs reduced. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of implementing a caregiver education model, Caring for Our Caregivers, within an inpatient brain injury programme. Methods: A total of 32 adults were admitted to inpatient neurorehabilitation during the 7-week feasibility trial. The three-step Caring for Our Caregivers programme included evidence-based recommendations following a caregiver needs assessment, goal setting and hands-on training. Satisfaction levels and caregiver preparedness were assessed via a survey. Results: The caregiver needs assessment and goal collaboration was completed within 5 days 66% of the time. Results indicated an even distribution of hands-on (47%) and discussion-based (53%) education. Caregivers and staff identified high levels of satisfaction with the programme. Conclusions: Early engagement, collaborative goals and hands-on training of the family caregiver of a client with acquired brain injury during inpatient rehabilitation demonstrated initial feasibility with positive implications for caregiver satisfaction and community discharge.
This study examined the patterns of informal (unpaid) caregiving provided to people after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), explore the self-reported burden and preparedness for the caregiving role, and identify factors predictive of caregiver burden and preparedness. A cross-sectional cohort design was used. Informal caregivers completed the Demand and Difficulty subscales of the Caregiving Burden Scale; and the Mutuality, Preparedness, and Global Strain subscales of the Family Care Inventory. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used to examine the relationships between caregiver and care recipient variables and preparedness for caregiving. Twenty-nine informal caregivers who reported data on themselves and people with a moderate to severe TBI were recruited (referred to as a dyad). Most caregivers were female ( n = 21, 72%), lived with the care recipient ( n = 20, 69%), and reported high levels of burden on both scales. While most caregivers ( n = 21, 72%) felt "pretty well" or "very well" prepared for caregiving, they were least prepared to get help or information from the health system, and to deal with the stress of caregiving. No significant relationships or predictors for caregiver burden or preparedness were identified. While caregivers reported the provision of care as both highly difficult and demanding, further research is required to better understand the reasons for the variability in caregiver experience, and ultimately how to best prepare caregivers for this long-term role.
Aims and objectives: The study aimed to examine traumatic brain injury (TBI) patient family members' (FMs) experiences of the support they received from healthcare professionals in acute care hospitals. Background: The length of hospitalisation following TBI is constantly decreasing, and patients may return home with several problems. FMs care for the patients at home although they may not be prepared for the patient's medical needs or financial burden of the illness. The burden which some FMs experience can impair patient care and rehabilitation outcomes. Therefore, FMs require support during acute phases of TBI treatment. Design: A structured questionnaire was sent to 216 TBI patients FMs. The response rate was 47% (n = 102). Methods: A structured questionnaire—based on a systematic literature review and a previous questionnaire on TBI patient FMs' perceptions of support—was developed and used in the data collection. The questionnaire included 46 statements and 11 background questions. Data were collected via an electronic questionnaire. The STROBE checklist was followed in reporting the study. Results: A factor analysis identified five factors that describe the guidance of TBI patient FMs: guidance of TBI patients' symptoms and survival; benefits of guidance; needs‐based guidance; guidance for use of services; and guidance methods. Most of the FMs (51%–88%) felt that they had not received enough guidance from healthcare professionals in acute care hospitals across all five aspects of support. Conclusions: The content of guidance should be developed, and healthcare staff should be trained to consider a FM's starting point when providing guidance. A calm environment, proper timing, sufficient information in different forms and professional healthcare staff were found to be key factors to comprehensive guidance. Involving FMs in the discharge process and rehabilitation of their loved ones both supports the abilities of caregivers and promotes the outcome of the patient's rehabilitation. Relevance to clinical practice: This study provides varied information on the need for social support of TBI patients FMs in the early stages of treatment from the FMs' perspective. This research adopted the FM's perspective to identify various areas of social support that need to be developed so that the FMs of TBI patients receive enough support during the early stages of TBI treatment.
Patients with stroke experience various challenges such as motor and cognitive and sensory problems, which can increase the caregiver burden of family members in long-term care. Understanding the factors related to caregiver burden is important to develop strategies to support informal caregivers. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the relationship of religious coping strategies and family harmony to caregiver burden for family members of patients with stroke. The sample of this descriptive, cross-sectional study consisted of 181 family caregivers who completed the Religious Coping Scale, Burden Interview Scale, and Family Harmony Scale – Short Form. Multiple linear regression and Pearson's correlation were performed. Pearson's correlation analysis indicated a significant positive relationship between caregiver burden and negative religious coping. A significant negative relationship was found of caregiver burden and family harmony with positive religious coping. Multiple regression analysis indicated that family harmony, amount of time spent on caregiving, and negative and positive religious coping were predictors of caregiver burden. Given the significant relationship of caregiver burden and family harmony to positive religious coping, future research should integrate religious coping strategies into multidisciplinary caregiver intervention programs to reduce caregiver burden.
Introduction: We aimed to evaluate the emotional state and quality of life of family caregivers of stroke patients and to investigate the relationship between patient factors and these characteristics of caregivers. Materials and Method: Ninety-seven patients with hemiplegia after a cerebrovascular event and their caregivers were included in this cross-sectional study. The emotional state of the caregivers was evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Their quality of life was evaluated with Short Form- 36. Functional Independence Measurement (FIM) and modified-Rankin Score (MRS) were used for functional status of the patients, HADS was used for their emotional state and Stroke-Specific Quality of Life Scale (SS-QOL) was used for their quality of life. Results: Mean HADS-Anxiety score was 9.0 ± 3.7 and mean HADS-Depression score was 8.3 ± 3.7 in caregivers. Mean HADS-Anxiety score was 10.1 ± 3.4 and mean HADS-D score was 8.7 ± 3.6 in patients. The rates of anxiety disorder and depression in caregivers were 39.2% and 55.7%, respectively. The rates of anxiety disorder and depression in stroke patients were 40.2% and 50.5%, respectively. A positive correlation was found between HADS scores of caregivers and patients (p < 0.05). There was a significant negative correlation between the HADS scores of caregivers and SS-QOL scores of patients (p < 0.05). There was a statistically significant relationship between the quality of life of caregivers and the MRS, motor FIM and FIM-total scores of patients (p < 0.05). Conclusion: As a result, mood disorders were common in stroke patients and their caregivers. Quality of life of caregivers was decreased. There was a relationship between the emotional state of patients and caregivers.
Purpose: Studies have shown that spirituality plays an important role in enhancing the quality of life of stroke survivors and their caregivers. Spirituality has been associated with positive patient and caregiver outcomes, so a valid, reliable measure of spirituality is important. It has not been tested with stroke survivors and their caregivers, so the aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Spiritual Religious and Personal Belief (WHOQOL-SRPB) scale for stroke survivors and their caregivers. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 414 stroke survivors at 10 rehabilitation hospitals and 244 caregivers completed the WHOQOL-SRPB. The WHOQOL-SRPB's factorial structure was assessed with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), criterion-related validity was evaluated with the WHOQOL-BREF, and internal consistency reliability was assessed with Cronbach's α and ordinal α. Results: The CFA results supported the hypothesized eight-factor structure. The stroke survivor and the caregiver versions of the model both had excellent fit indices. The factor loadings for the final models were strong: 0.78-0.98 for stroke survivors and caregivers (p < 0.001). The criterion-related validity for the WHOQOL-SRPB showed weak to moderate correlations with all the WHOQOL-BREF dimensions. Both ordinal α and Cronbach's α had values more than 0.70. Conclusions: The WHOQOL-SRPB scale is a valid, reliable instrument for measuring spirituality in stroke survivors and caregivers. Given the importance of spirituality for stroke survivors and caregivers, the WHOQOL-SRPB scale is recommended as an important tool for clinical practice and research.
Background: The high burden of care associated with older stroke patients is a factor that threatens the health of family caregivers. Identifying the needs of family caregivers in this group of patients can help provide effective solutions. The present study aimed to determine the needs of family caregivers of older stroke patients. Methods: The sample size of this longitudinal study included 200 family caregivers of older stroke patients from two hospitals in Iran. Data collection included demographics, responses to family caregivers' needs questionnaires, and the Barthel Index which was taken in four stages including admission time, pre-discharge, two weeks and 12 weeks post-discharge. Results: The results showed that all participants at all stages of the study identified "respect for the patient when providing education, treatment, or rehabilitation" as one of their needs. There was a statistically significant relationship between the older adult survivor's age and the number of family caregivers' needs two weeks post-discharge (p = 0.012) and 12 weeks post-discharge (p = 0.008). There was a significant relationship between the patient's hospitalization period and the number of caregivers' needs three months after the patient's discharge (p = 0.028), and a significant statistical relationship between the pre-discharge physiotherapy of the patients and the number of their caregivers' needs during the two weeks post-discharge (p = 0.018). There was also a statistically significant relationship between the patient's level of dependence and the number of caregivers' needs (p = 0.0001). On the contrary, there was no significant relationship between the sex, place of living, and underlying disease history of the patient and the number of caregivers' needs (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The results of the present research indicate that the total number of caregivers' needs decreases with increasing duration of the disease. However, respite and care provision planning by other family members, seeking assistance from professional caregivers, and the search for community support resources can help reduce the burden of care of caregivers and give them the opportunity to meet their needs in different dimensions of patient care provided.
Visuospatial neglect (VSN) is a common cognitive disorder after stroke. The primary aim of this systematic review was to provide an overview of the impact of VSN in 3 aspects: (1) activities of daily living (ADL), (2) participation, and (3) caregiver burden. The second aim was to investigate the differences in studies focusing on populations with mean age < 65 versus ≥ 65 years. PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Emcare, PsychINFO, Academic Search Premier and CENTRAL were searched systematically. Quality was assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Of the 115 included studies, 104 provided outcomes on ADL, 15 on participation (4 studies with mean age ≥ 65), and 2 on caregiver burden (1 study with mean age ≥ 65). Quality assessment yielded scores ranging from 0 to 100%. VSN had a negative impact on ADL (i.e., independence during ADL and performance in self-care, household tasks, reading, writing, walking, wheelchair navigation) and participation (i.e., driving, community mobility, orientation, work). The impact of VSN on fulfilling social roles was unclear. VSN had a negative effect on caregiver burden. We found no clear age-related differences. VSN has a negative impact not only on patients' independence but particularly on the performance of ADL. Despite the far fewer studies of VSN as compared with ADL, VSN also seems to hamper participation and increase caregiver burden, but further research is needed. Because of the large impact, VSN should be systematically and carefully assessed during rehabilitation. A considerable number of different instruments were used to diagnose VSN. Diagnosing VSN at more than one level [function (i.e., pen-and-paper test), activities, and participation] is strongly recommended. Consensus is needed on how to assess VSN and its negative impact for research and rehabilitation practice. PROSPERPO Registration No. CRD42018087483.
Background: Memory problems post-stroke are common and for some, these problems could then progress to a dementia illness. Once in the community, stroke-survivors are looked after by their family doctors although there is evidence that these patients may struggle to access appropriate help in the community for these problems. Although a stroke-survivor may be physically capable of performing daily tasks, they and their families may have to learn to manage and adapt to their new memory deficits. There is often less focus on cognitive recovery post-stroke from clinical services perhaps because of the lack of awareness and evidence of these adaptations. There is also good evidence that organized stroke care improves physical recovery but no equivalent evidence for the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation. The aim of this qualitative study was to report the impact of memory problems on the stroke-survivor and their family once they are living in the community. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients and family carers to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences. Participants were invited to take part in an interview at around six and 12-months post-stroke. A topic guide was developed to explore participant's care experiences post-stroke when they have also presented with memory difficulties. Data collection and analysis were iterative; all transcripts were anonymized. The data were thematically analyzed. Results: Twenty-two interviews were conducted. Five family carers and ten stroke-survivors were interviewed at six-months post-stroke, of these eight stroke-survivors and four family carers agreed to a 12-month follow-up interview. They identified several areas of impact: (1) impact on daily life; (2) emotional impact; and (3) compensating strategies implemented in response to impact. Conclusion: Living with stroke combined with memory impairment can have negative effects on the stroke-survivor and their family once in the community. Health professionals and services in the community need to recognize the burden of managing symptoms post-stroke for these individuals and their families. Understanding the impact can enable more effective community and specialist support to be provided particularly if we were to also identify those who may then be at risk of a future dementia illness.
Background: After having a stroke, most patients are helped by a caregiver with activities that they cannot perform by themselves. The caregiver presence and actions are an important variable that may affect rehabilitation in many ways. The aim of this review study was to evaluate the impact of caregiver presence (or absence) and identity (spouse, family, or foreign domestic worker) on therapeutic exercise performance, depression symptoms, patient–spouse relations and total functional outcomes of stroke patients. Assessing these effects may help health care professionals and families to prioritise/choose the caregiver for their patient/family member. Methods: A narrative literature review was conducted, focusing on one-direction effects (caregiver on patient effects) on the topics of interest mentioned, in a post-stroke population. PubMed, CINAHL, PEDro, Trip database, and Google Scholar were searched, and included studies of most designs and research qualities. The search strategy had not been specified before commencing the review. Each study was analysed individually with the purpose of synthesising the available evidence to achieve a greater understanding of this topic. Results: A total of 17 relevant papers were included: six randomised controlled trials, six observational studies, two systematic reviews, two survey-based studies, and one case series. Trials were consistent with the positive effect that caregivers have on therapeutic exercise performance. Studies have shown a positive effect of caregivers on the patient's depressive symptoms, but only at the chronic phase after stroke. A spouse caregiver seems to more positively affect the patient–spouse relations in the acute phase of rehabilitation, while foreign domestic workers can improve these relations at more chronic phases. The presence of a caregiver is shown to decrease functional outcomes within institutionalised rehabilitation centres, while it is necessary and positively affects functionality at more chronic phases within community settings. Conclusions: The advantages and disadvantages of employing a caregiver depend in many cases on the rehabilitation phase. The caregiver might be beneficial or harmful to the patient's functional progress, depressive symptoms and marital relationship depending on the rehabilitation phase. More studies are needed to assess the caregiver effects on post-stroke patients' rehabilitation and quality of life.
This thesis aimed to elucidate the role of informal caregiver subjective well-being in explaining formal long-term care service (LTCS) use. A systematic review and meta-analysis of literature found that elevated caregiver burden, caregiver depression, and poorer caregiver health status are associated with increased formal LTCS use. Quantitative analyses of longitudinal data collected from stroke survivors and their caregivers revealed that increased caregiving burden and caregiver depression are prospective and concurrent predictors of stroke rehabilitation use at 12-month post-stroke, and that non-distressed caregivers at 3-month post-stroke and 12-month post-stroke are likely to have cared for stroke rehabilitation users at 12-month post-stroke.
Background: In less resourced settings, formal rehabilitation services for stroke survivors were often absent. Stroke survivors were referred to community health workers (CHWs) who were untrained in rehabilitation.; Aim: To describe the experience and perceived needs of stroke survivors, their caregivers and CHWs in a context with limited access to and support from formal rehabilitation services.; Setting: The Breede Valley subdistrict, Western Cape, South Africa, a rural, less resourced setting.; Methods: A descriptive exploratory qualitative study. Four focus group interviews were held with purposively selected stroke survivors and caregivers and four with CHWs. A thematic approach and the framework method were used to analyse the transcripts.; Findings: A total of 41 CHWs, 21 caregivers and 26 stroke survivors participated. Four main themes and 11 sub-themes were identified. Because of the lack of knowledge, training and rehabilitation services, the main theme for all groups was having to 'figure things out' independently, with incontinence management being particularly challenging. Secondly was the need for emotional support for stroke survivors and caregivers. Thirdly, contextual factors such as architectural barriers and lack of assistive products negatively impacted care and function. Lastly, the organisation of health and rehabilitation services negatively impacted home-based services and professional support.; Conclusions: With appropriate training, the CHWs can be pivotal in the training and support of family caregivers and stroke survivors. Care pathways and the role and scope of both CHWs and therapists in home-based stroke rehabilitation should be defined and restructured, including the links with formal services.
Background: Technical applications can promote home-based exercise and physical activity of community-dwelling stroke survivors. Caregivers are often able and willing to assist with home-based exercise and physical activity but lack the knowledge and resources to do so. ActivABLES was established to promote home-based exercise and physical activity among community-dwelling stroke survivors, with support from their caregivers. The aim of our study is to investigate the feasibility of ActivABLES in terms of acceptability, demand, implementation and practicality. Methods: A convergent design of mixed methods research in which quantitative results were combined with personal experiences of a four-week use of ActivABLES by community-dwelling stroke survivors with support from their caregivers. Data collection before, during and after the four-week period included the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), Timed-Up-and-Go (TUG) and Five Times Sit to Stand Test (5xSST) and data from motion detectors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with stroke survivors and caregivers after the four-week period. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data. Qualitative data was analysed with direct content analysis. Themes were identified related to the domains of feasibility: acceptability, demand, implementation and practicality. Data was integrated by examining any (dis)congruence in the quantitative and qualitative findings. Results: Ten stroke survivors aged 55-79 years participated with their informal caregivers. Functional improvements were shown in BBS (+ 2.5), ABC (+ 0.9), TUG (- 4.2) and 5xSST (- 2.7). More physical activity was detected with motion detectors (stand up/sit down + 2, number of steps + 227, standing + 0.3 h, hours sitting/lying - 0.3 h). The qualitative interviews identified themes for each feasibility domain: (i) acceptability: appreciation, functional improvements, self-initiated activities and expressed potential for future stroke survivors; (2) demand: reported use, interest in further use and need for follow-up; (3) implementation: importance of feedback, variety of exercises and progression of exercises and (4) practicality: need for support and technical problems. The quantitative and qualitative findings converged well with each other and supported the feasibility of ActivABLES. Conclusions: ActivABLES is feasible and can be a good asset for stroke survivors with slight or moderate disability to use in their homes. Further studies are needed with larger samples.
Background: Stroke in a family affects both patients and their spousal caregivers. Despite advances in the medical management of stroke, less is known about the social and cultural factors that impact couples regarding stroke recovery. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of stroke from the perspectives of couples affected by stroke and the nurses managing patient rehabilitation. Methods: An interpretive descriptive study was conducted. Purposive sampling was used to enroll 17 participants, comprising eight nurses, five spousal caregivers, and four stroke survivors. Individual, in-depth interviews were performed at a rehabilitation hospital in Singapore in June 2018. Results: The primary theme was the diverse meanings of stroke recovery attributed to limited conversations about the care decisions made by couples and rehabilitation nurses. The second theme was the challenges in nursing responsibilities that hindered the recovery of patients with stroke. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: The meaning of recovery differs between patients and their informal and formal care providers. This issue should be explored in patient–provider conversations, as these conversations highlight the values and preferences that affect the stroke recovery trajectory. Enhancing shared decision making by patients, spousal caregivers, and healthcare providers during the stroke trajectory may promote the alignment of values that are critical to the stroke recovery experience. Further research into whether and how to incorporate shared decision making in rehabilitation hospital settings as an interventional component is warranted to better support stroke survivors before discharge.
Objectives: to understand how the empowerment of family caregivers of people with stroke occurs in the hospital environment.; Methods: a qualitative research, participatory action research, articulated with Paulo Freire's Research Itinerary, developed in April 2018 with family caregivers, in a Stroke Unit.; Results: three predominant codes were coded: the need for empowerment and autonomy to experience the care situation; the challenges experienced in becoming a caregiver; and family support. Participants presented a lack of information inherent to the care process, with distancing from empowerment to perform the function in dehospitalization. Dialogue revealed empowerment as a possibility for critical awareness and skill development.; Conclusions: it highlights the importance of directing health promotion for caregivers, inserting them in the care process, recognizing their needs and intensifying practices that promote empowerment for care, bypassing curative actions.
Background: Brain stroke causes physical and mental disabilities, as well as dependence on one's family. In such cases, the families suffer from severe crisis and anxiety due to the unexpected incidence of the disease and unawareness of the associated consequences.; Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of informational support on the level of anxiety in family caregivers of hemiplegic stroke patients.; Methods: This quasi-experimental study was performed on 78 family caregivers of hemiplegic stroke patients admitted to the Neurology Department of Farshchian Hospital in Hamadan, Iran, over 8 months. The subjects were selected through convenience sampling method and divided into two groups of intervention (n = 40) and control (n = 38). Intervention started from the third day of hospitalization and continued until the eleventh day. During this period, information about the ward, equipment, patient status, and care procedure at home, was provided for the intervention group individually and in groups. On the other hand, the control group only received the routine care. Anxiety level of caregivers was measured through the Spielberger scale both before and after the intervention. Data analysis was performed in SPSS software (version 16).; Results: Based on the results, both groups were similar in terms of demographic variables (P > 0.05). Moreover, there was no significant difference between the two groups regarding the mean level of state and trait anxiety before the intervention (P > 0.05). However, after intervention, the mean level of state and trait anxiety of the intervention group showed a significant reduction in comparison to that of the control group (P < 0.05).; Conclusions: According to the findings, it can be concluded that informational support is effective in reducing the state and trait anxiety in family caregivers of stroke patients. Therefore, it is suggested that nurses consider informational support as an important nursing intervention during hospitalization.
Dependence of stroke survivors regarding the ability to perform activities of daily living imposes a burden on family caregivers. The study evaluated the effect of the family-centered empowerment program on the ability of Iranian patients with stroke to perform activities of daily living, as well as on family caregiver burden. In this randomized controlled trial study, a total of 90 pairs of patients with stroke and their family caregivers was selected and randomly assigned to the intervention or control groups. Patients and their family caregivers participated in four family-centered empowerment program sessions over four consecutive days while the patient was hospitalized. The difference in the ability of patients with stroke in the intervention and control groups to perform activities of daily living was not significant 2 weeks after the intervention. However, the ability of patients with stroke in the intervention group to perform activities of daily living increased significantly 2 months after the intervention compared with the control group: 66 ± 35.95 and 51.31 ± 36.28, respectively (p = 0.047). Two weeks after the intervention, the family caregiver burden significantly decreased in the intervention group (29.55 ± 15.38) compared with the control group (38.77 ± 18.53 and p = 0.012). The burden in the intervention group also decreased 2 months after the intervention compared with the control group: 22.95 ± 15.68 and 36.11 ± 18.88, respectively (p < 0.001). Nurses can use the family-centered empowerment program to improve the quality of life of patients with stroke, and to reduce the burden of family caregivers.
Objective: development and validation the content of a nursing care protocol with educational interventions for family caregivers of elderly people after stroke. Methods: a methodological study conducted in three stages: (1) protocol development through literature review; (2) pretest with multidisciplinary team, analyzed with literature articulation; (3) protocol validation by the Delphi Technique. Results: the protocol was structured in the following areas: Disease Guidelines; Emotional Support; Using the Health Care Network; Diet; Airways; Medications; Hygiene; Skin Care; Disposal; Dressing/Undressing; Positioning and Transfer; Fall Prevention. In the pretest, eight experts assessed protocol clarity and content. In validation, there were two rounds by the Delphi Technique. The validated protocol consisted of 12 domains, containing 42 items and 240 care guidelines. Conclusion: the protocol qualifies the transition of care after hospital discharge assisting nurses in home care practice.
In recent years, increased attention has been paid to the benefit finding of family caregivers due to the important role they play. Although some instruments measure benefit finding of caregivers, they do not comprehensively address it in terms specific to the family caregivers of stroke survivors, who require long-term, consistent care. This study is the first effort to develop a comprehensive Caregiver Benefit Finding Scale for the family caregivers of stroke survivors in a Chinese cultural setting. First, 50 items were extracted from a systematic literature review, and a semi-structured interview was conducted with 20 stroke family caregivers to develop the preliminary version of the scale (Version 1). Second, Delphi procedures with 20 experts were used to revise the first version and create Version 2 (37 items). Another six experts were recruited for content validation. Item content validity index (I-CVI) values ranged from 0.83 to 1.00, and the value of the scale CVI was 0.97. Third, 309 family caregivers completed the Version 2 questionnaire and the Chinese version of the Positive Aspects of Caregiving. Two weeks later, 35 family caregivers once again completed the questionnaires. An exploratory factor analysis produced four components (personal growth, health promotion, family growth, and self-sublimation) and 26 items for Version 3 (the cumulative proportion variance was 74.14%). Subsequently, 311 family caregivers completed Version 3. A confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the structure. The goodness of fit index (GFI) = 0.921, adjusted GFI = 0.901, normal fit index = 0.951, incremental fit index = 0.990, comparative FI = 0.990, and the root mean square error of approximation = 0.02 were within the acceptable range. Criterion-related validity was equal to 0.803. The model-based internal consistency index was 0.845 and the values of the Cronbach'α coefficient of the four dimensions were 0.885-0.953. The split-half reliability was 0.92, and the test-retest reliability was 0.994. These findings provide preliminary evidence of the validity and reliability of the Caregiver Benefit Finding Scale. The scale can help researchers and clinicians to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of stroke family caregivers' positive experience. This understanding is necessary for future efforts to address issues in benefit finding by targeting the underlying mechanism and intervention.
The general aim of this study is to identify the events experienced by the caregiver (the husband/wife) in providing care to the post-stroke partner in Palopo City, South Sulawesi. This study is qualitative research using phenomenology design. Qualitative study is conducted to find out certain reasons on a topic or to understand the occurrence of a topic. The focus of the phenomenological approach is on the essence or event experienced by the participants. The results were processed using NVivo 10; and in terms of feelings, it was obtained the feeling of heavy-hearted, angry, disappointment, pity, sadness, and normal. The role of the caregivers undergoes either changes or no changes. The way of coping with the feelings is by accepting the conditions, calming down, talking to others, support from the children, the daughters, and other family members, praying, and even letting go of the burden. The caregiver overcomes the changes in terms of role by managing time and handling the situation like it used to. Based on the result of the interviews as well as the data analysis, a number of subthemes were found related to feelings, role and ways of overcoming.
Background: A cross-sectional survey was performed on the family members of disabled stroke survivors, those who are both the patient's medical authorizer and caregiver,to identify the sources of the caring stress and inform appropriate interventions.; Methods: A total of 242 family members of stroke patients, who were treated in a tertiary geriatric hospital in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Province, were enrolled in the current study by using convenience sampling. Questionnaire forms were used to investigate care stress caused by family members' current care activitiesand analyze its causes.; Results: The care stress of the family members was moderately positively correlated with financial pressure (r=0.476, P<0.01). Family members' educational background, financial pressure, the times of hospitalizations, the dependency of stroke patients, and the degree of family members' participation in treatment decisionmaking during the patient's hospital stay were the primary sources of the caring stress (P<0.05 or P<0.01).; Conclusions: A substantial proportion of family members are under high stress when caring for disabled stroke patients. Strategies including knowledge training, empowerment, home-based rehabilitation, and information and emotional support may effectively relieve the caring stress, to improve the family support of patients, improve the quality of life of both patients and caregivers, and enhance the rehabilitation effectiveness.
Objective: To determine the feasibility of recruiting to and delivering a biopsychosocial intervention for carers of stroke survivors. Design: Feasibility randomised controlled study with nested qualitative interview study. Setting: The intervention was delivered in the community in either a group or one-to-one format. Subjects: Carers and stroke survivors within one year of stroke onset. Interventions: A carer targeted intervention delivered by a research psychologist in six structured two-hour sessions or usual care control. The intervention combined education about the biological, psychological and social effects of stroke with strategies and techniques focussing on adjustment to stroke and caregiving. Stroke survivors in both groups received baseline and follow-up assessment but no intervention. Main Outcome: Recruitment rate, study attrition, fidelity of intervention delivery, acceptability and sensitivity of outcome measures used (health related quality of life, anxiety and depression and carer burden six months after randomisation). Results: Of the 257 carers approached, 41 consented. Six withdrew before randomisation. Eighteen participants were randomised to receive the intervention and 17 to usual care. Attendance at sessions was greater when treated one-to-one. Feedback interviews suggested that participants found the intervention acceptable and peer support particularly helpful in normalising their feelings. Thirty participants were assessed at follow-up with improvements from baseline on all health measures for both groups. Conclusions: Our results suggest that a biopsychosocial intervention was acceptable to carers and can be delivered in group and one-to-one formats. Timing of approach and mode of intervention delivery is critical and requires tailoring to the carers individual needs.
Objectives: The caregiving experience includes both caregiver burdens and benefits finding. However, the benefits obtained by family caregivers of stroke survivors in Chinese community dwellings are unknown. The objective of this study was to explore the benefits experienced by family caregivers of stroke survivors in Chinese community dwellings.; Design: A qualitative descriptive design was used, fulfilling the consolidated criteria for the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research reporting guidelines. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 family caregivers of stroke survivors. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed. Thematic analysis was performed to analyse the interview transcripts.; Setting and Participants: Home interviews were conducted with family caregivers of stroke survivors in two communities in Zhengzhou, China.; Results: The family caregivers of stroke survivors experienced various benefits from caregiving. There were both internal benefits (increases in knowledge and skills, the development of positive attitudes, and the development of a sense of worthiness and achievement) and external benefits (family growth and gains in social support), which interact to create a healthy lifestyle.; Conclusion: Our findings provide a comprehensive perspective in understanding the benefits perceived by family caregivers of stroke survivors. This study provides insights into interventions focused on identifying benefits finding in six domains that may help reduce negative emotions and promote the mental health of caregivers.
Purpose To describe the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of caregivers and survivors of transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and stroke during one year post discharge in comparison to age- and sex-matched population norms; and to analyse the association of initial stroke severity, measured by a routinely used stroke-specific scale, on subsequent HRQoL of caregivers and survivors. Methods Cohort of hospitalized patients with TIA and stroke discharged alive from a large university hospital in Norway, and their informal caregivers. Questionnaires at 3 and 12 months post discharge were filled out by caregivers (n = 320 and n = 326, respectively) and survivors (n = 368 and n = 383, respectively). Multivariable linear regression analyses tested associations between initial stroke severity (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, NIHSS) and HRQoL (EQ-5D-3L) in caregivers and survivors. Results Caregivers of survivors with TIA or stroke did not report lower HRQoL than matched norms. There was some evidence of an association of the NIHSS with caregiver HRQoL at 3 months only (age-sex-adjusted coefficient - 0.01, p = 0.008), however, this was attenuated after additional adjustments. Survivors with stroke, but not TIA, reported lower HRQoL than population norms at both time points. There was a negative association between higher NIHSS scores and survivors' HRQoL; fully adjusted coefficient - 0.01 at both time points (p = 0.001). Conclusion The informal caregivers and survivors with TIA did not report lower than expected HRQoL. Increasing stroke severity was associated with decreasing HRQoL among survivors, but had limited predictive value among caregivers. Other factors may therefore be better indicators of 'at risk' caregivers.
One of the challenges of providing healthcare services is to enhance its value (for patients, staff and the service) by integrating the informal caregivers into the care process, both concretely managing their patient's health conditions and treatment (co-executing) and participating in the whole healthcare process (co-planning). This study aims at exploring the co-production contribution to the healthcare process, analysing whether and how it is related to higher caregivers' satisfaction with service care and reduced staff burnout, in the eyes of the staff. It also investigated two possible factors supporting caregivers in their role of co-producers, namely relationship among staff and informal caregivers related to knowledge sharing (i.e. an ability determinant supporting co-production) and related to role social conflict (i.e. a willingness determinant reducing co-production). Results of a structural equation model on a sample of 119 healthcare providers employed by neurorehabilitation centers in Italy with severe acquired brain injury confirmed that knowledge sharing positively related with caregivers' co-executing and co-planning. Also, social role conflict was negatively related with co-executing but positively with co-planning. Furthermore, co-planning resulted in being unrelated to both outcomes, whereas co-executing was associated with caregivers' satisfaction, as measured by staff perceptions. Overall, our data provided initial empirical evidence supporting the ability of the determinant's contribution in allowing informal caregivers to assume an active role in both co-production domains. Furthermore, as expected, the role of conflict willingness determinant was found to be a hindering factor for co-executing but, conversely, a trigger for co-planning. This result should be considered more carefully in future studies.
Background: Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) should be embedded in health care research. Delivering PCPI can be challenging, but even when PCPI is carried out it is rarely reported resulting in lost opportunities for learning. This paper aims to describe PCPI in the OSCARSS study, a pragmatic-cluster randomised controlled trial with an embedded economic and process evaluation. Methods: A carer research user group (RUG) co-developed OSCARSS to evaluate how to best deliver support to caregivers of stroke survivors. The PCPI activity involved regular meetings and preparatory work, from the initial conceptualisation of the study through to dissemination. Written reports, structured group discussions and individual interviews were carried out with the RUG and researchers to capture the added value and learning. This paper was co-authored by two of the RUG members with contributions from the wider RUG and researchers. Results: The core six members of the caregiver RUG attended the majority of the meetings alongside three researchers, one of whom was the co-chief investigator. PCPI was instrumental in changing many aspects of the research protocol, design and delivery and contributed to dissemination and sharing of good practice. There were challenges due to the emotional toll when PCPI members shared their stories and the extensive time commitment. Positive experiences of learning and fulfilment were reported by the individual researchers and PCPI members. Wider organisational administrative and financial support facilitated the PCPI. The researchers’ existing positive regard for PCPI and the clear focus of the group were key to the successful co-design of this research. Conclusions: The value and learning from the PCPI collaborative work with the researchers was of benefit to the study and the individuals involved. Specific PCPI influences were a challenge to pinpoint as successful co-design meant the researchers’ and carers’ contributions were intertwined and decision-making shared.
Background Most family caregivers of stroke patients in Malaysia do not receive adequate prior preparation or training. This study aimed to determine levels of patient positioning knowledge and caregiving self-efficacy among caregivers of stroke patients. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted at an urban teaching hospital involving 128 caregivers of stroke patients. The caregivers were conveniently sampled and completed the data collection forms, which comprised their socio-demographic data, patients' functional status, the Caregiving Knowledge For Stroke Questionnaire: Patient Positioning (CKQ-My(C) Patient Positioning) to measure caregiver's knowledge on patient positioning, and the Family Caregiver Activation Tool (FCAT(C)) to measure caregivers' self-efficacy in managing the patient. Descriptive and multivariate inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results Among the caregivers sampled, 87.3% had poor knowledge of positioning (mean score 14.9 +/- 4.32). The mean score for FCAT was 49.7 +/- 6.0 from a scale of 10 to 60. There was no significant association between knowledge on positioning and self-efficacy. Multiple linear regression showed that caregivers' age (B = 0.146, p = 0.003) and caregiver training (B = 3.302, p = 0.007) were independently associated with caregivers' self-efficacy. Conclusion Caregivers' knowledge on the positioning of stroke patients was poor, despite a fairly good level of self-efficacy. Older caregivers and receiving caregiver training were independently associated with better caregiver self-efficacy. This supports the provision of caregiver training to improve caregiver self-efficacy.
Purpose: Rebuilding one’s life after stroke is a key priority persistently identified by patients yet professionally led interventions have little impact. This co-design study constructs and tests a novel peer-led coaching intervention to improve post-stroke leisure and general social participation. Methods: This study followed the principles of co-design by actively engaging and harnessing the knowledge of stroke survivors in order to develop and test a peer-lead coaching intervention. Phase 1 assessed function, mood, and involvement in leisure and social activities 6 months following stroke (n = 79). Phase 2 involved semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 18 stroke survivors, and 10 family carers to explore experiences related to social and leisure participation. Phase 3 tested the co-designed peer-led coaching intervention. Data collected also included co-design feedback sessions and a training workshop with selected peer coaches and in addition, interviews with stroke survivors and their peer coaches at two time-points: following the training program (n = 5) and delivery of the intervention (n = 2). Results: A peer-coaching intervention was successfully co-designed and tested combining the use of lay knowledge sociocognitive and self-regulatory theories with principles of transformational leadership theory. Both peers and stroke survivors reported having benefited at a personal level. Conclusions: This study reports on an innovative community-based and peer-led intervention and its results have generated new evidence on how stroke survivors engage with and respond to peer coaching support. It further provides a theoretical platform for designing and implementing peer interventions. Hence, these results have the potential to inform the development of future peer coaching intervention not only for stroke rehabilitation but also for a wide range of chronic conditions.Implications for rehabilitation The results of this co-design study, if replicated and extended, provide a theoretical framework to guide rehabilitation professionals about the optimal timing of peer-coaching interventions and contextual factors that need to be taken into account. Applying transformational leadership theory principles to the training of peers may prove useful at the time of the implementation of a coaching intervention. Peer-led coaching interventions, which are community-based and tailored to stroke survivors at the time of discharge, may help support re-engagement in social and leisure activities.
Background Hospital to home transition care is a most stressful period for stroke survivors and their caregivers to learn self-management of stroke-related health conditions and to engage in rehabilitation. Health coaching has been identified as a strategy to enhance self-management of poststroke care at home. However, interventions in this field that are informed by a health coaching framework are scarce. This study will address a gap in research by testing the hypothesis that a nurse-led health coaching intervention can improve health outcomes for stroke survivors and their family caregivers in hospital to home transition care. Methods This is a single-blind, two-arm parallel randomized controlled trial of a nurse-led health coaching program versus routine care situated in two tertiary hospitals in Chongqing, China. Stroke survivors and their primary family caregivers will be recruited together as "participant dyads", and the estimated sample size is 140 (70 in each group). The intervention includes a 12-week nurse-led health coaching program in hospital to home transition care commencing at discharge from the hospital. The primary outcome is changes in self-efficacy of stroke survivors at 12 weeks from the baseline. The secondary outcomes are changes in stroke survivors' and quality of life, functional ability, stroke-related knowledge, the number of adverse events, and unplanned hospital admissions, and caregivers' self-efficacy and caregiver-related burden at 12 weeks from the baseline. The outcomes will be measured at 12 weeks and 24 weeks from the baseline. Discussion This study will examine the effect of nurse-led health coaching on hospital to home transition care for stroke survivors and their caregivers. It is anticipated that findings from this trial will provide research evidence to inform policy, and resource and practice development to improve hospital to home transition care for stroke survivors and their caregivers.
Family caregivers contribute to the sustainability of healthcare systems. Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and many people with stroke rely on caregiver support to return home and remain in the community. Research has demonstrated the importance of caregivers, but suggests that caregiving can have adverse consequences. Despite the body of qualitative stroke literature, there is little clarity about how to incorporate these findings into clinical practice. This review aimed to characterise stroke caregivers' experiences and the impact of these experiences on their health and well‐being. We conducted a qualitative meta‐synthesis. Four electronic databases were searched to identify original qualitative research examining stroke caregivers' experiences. In total, 4,481 citations were found, with 39 studies remaining after removing duplicates and applying inclusion and exclusions criteria. Articles were appraised for quality using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP), coded using NVivo software, and analysed through thematic synthesis. One overarching theme, ‘caregiving is a full‐time job’ was identified, encompassing four sub‐themes: (a) restructured life, (b) altered relationships, (c) physical challenges, and (d) psychosocial challenges. Community and institution‐based clinicians should be aware of the physical and psychosocial consequences of caregiving and provide appropriate supports, such as education and respite, to optimise caregiver health and well‐being. Future research may build upon this study to identify caregivers in most need of support and the types of support needed across a broad range of health conditions.
Background: Mild stroke occurrences are rising and in order to comprehensively understand the experience of this health phenomenon, the context in which people with mild stroke live must be explored. Spouses are an important part of the lives of this population, but their experiences are yet to be fully understood. Aims/Objectives: To answer the question: “What is the essence of the mild stroke experience from the perspective of spouses during the first 9-months after acute hospital discharge, in Australia?” Materials and Methods: Qualitative study involving four spouses at 9-months post-acute hospital discharge for their family member. Interpretative phenomenological analysis used to analyze interview transcripts. Results: Two themes identified: (1) Activities gained but time lost, and (2) Small changes but big impacts. The first theme portrays the increase in daily activity that spouses experienced due to caregiving related activities, which impacted on their occupational participation. The second highlights the impact that people with mild strokes’ behavioral and emotional changes can have on spouses. Conclusions and Significance: Whilst spouses generally return to their daily routines after a family members’ mild stroke, some will experience increased time pressures and occupational disruptions. Health providers should prepare spouses for behavioral and emotional changes in people with mild stroke.
Background and Purpose: The Portuguese instrument for informal caregivers' skills providing care of aged people after a stroke (ECPICID-AVC) evaluates the capacities that informal caregivers must have for supporting aged stroke survivors. The purpose was to adapt and validate the ECPICID-AVC to be used in Brazil. Methods: A methodological study was conducted. Results: The terms with the lowest degree of comprehension were adapted. The factor analysis suggested the exclusion of three items and that the remaining be grouped into six domains. The factor loadings varied from 0.525 to 0.924. The internal intra-assessor consistency was satisfactory (ICC = 0.94, CI 95%). Total reliability was considered excellent (Cronbach's alpha = 0.914). Conclusions: The ECPICID-AVC is considered appropriate for using in Brazil.
Objective: to identify factors associated with the presence of suicidal ideation in caregivers of stroke survivors. Methods: cross-sectional survey conducted with 151 primary informal caregivers. The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 and a questionnaire were used to evaluate the presence of thoughts of suicidal ideation, whose data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: most caregivers had normal levels of depression (76.8%), anxiety (76.2%) and stress (79.5%), and showed no thoughts of suicidal ideation (70.9%). The correlation between scales showed that thoughts of suicidal ideation rise proportionally to the increase of anxiety, depression and stress levels. Conclusion: it was observed that high levels of depression, anxiety and stress favored the increased frequency of suicidal thoughts among caregivers of stroke survivors.
Background: A stroke is a sudden, life-altering event with potentially devastating consequences for survivors and their loved ones. Despite advances in endovascular and neurocritical care approaches to stroke treatment and recovery, there remains a considerable unmet need for interventions targeting the emotional impact of stroke for both patients and their informal caregivers. This is important because untreated emotional distress becomes chronic and negatively impacts quality of life in both patients and caregivers. Our team previously used mixed methods to iteratively develop a six-session modular dyadic intervention to prevent chronic emotional distress in patients with stroke and their informal caregivers called "Recovering Together" (RT) using feedback from dyads and the medical team. The aim of the current study is to test the feasibility of recruitment, acceptability of screening and randomization methods, acceptability of RT, satisfaction with RT, feasibility of the assessment process at all time points, and acceptability of outcome measures. Secondarily, we aimed to explore within-treatment effect sizes and change in clinically significant symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress (PTS). The larger goal was to strengthen methodological rigor before a subsequent efficacy trial. Methods: We conducted a feasibility randomized controlled trial to evaluate the RT intervention relative to minimally enhanced usual care (MEUC) in stroke patients admitted to a Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU). Dyads were enrolled within 1 week of hospitalization if they met specific eligibility criteria. Assessments were done via paper and pencil at baseline, and electronically via REDCap or over the phone at post-intervention (approximately 6 weeks after baseline), and 3 months later. Assessments included demographics, resiliency intervention targets (mindfulness, coping, self-efficacy, and interpersonal bond), and emotional distress (depression, anxiety, and PTS). Primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability markers. Secondary outcomes were depression, anxiety, PTS, mindfulness, coping, self-efficacy, and interpersonal bond. Results: We consented 20 dyads, enrolled 17, and retained 16. Although many patients were missed before we could approach them, very few declined to participate or dropped out once study staff made initial contact. Feasibility of enrollment (87% of eligible dyads enrolled), acceptability of screening, and randomization (all RT dyads retained after randomization) were excellent. Program satisfaction (RT post-test M = 11.33/12 for patients M = 12/12 for caregivers), and adherence to treatment sessions (six of seven RT dyads attending 4/6 sessions) were high. There were no technical difficulties that affected the delivery of the intervention. There was minimal missing data. For both patients and caregivers, participation in RT was generally associated with clinically significant improvement in emotional distress symptoms from baseline to post-test. Participation in MEUC was associated with clinically significant worsening in emotional distress. Although some of the improvement in emotional distress symptoms decreased in the RT group between post-test to 3 months, these changes were not clinically significant. RT was also associated with substantial decrease in frequency of individuals who met criteria for clinically significant symptoms, while the opposite was true for MEUC. There were many lessons that informed current and future research. Conclusions: This study provided evidence of feasibility and signal of improvement in RT, as well as necessary methodological changes to increase recruitment efficiency before the future hybrid efficacy-effectiveness trial. Trial registration: NCT02797509. © 2020 The Author(s).
Objective: The aims of this systematic review are to review studies on the patient's family readiness in caring for stroke patients at home, the instruments used to assess family readiness and the factors that influence family readiness. Methods: The method used is an electronic database that has been published through PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Wiley online library. The keywords used for article searching is based on the study question. Results: The review of six research articles stated that family readiness in stroke patients is essential to note that the instrument most often used in family preparedness assessments is the Preparedness Caregiver Scale (PCS) instrument. Factors that influence family readiness include Pre-stroke caregiver experience, the strength of caregiver relationships with patients, family understanding and involvement in care, caregiver roles and responsibilities. Conclusion: Family preparedness assessment is critical to note especially for health workers, and the selection of the right instruments will significantly affect the caregiver's family readiness in treating stroke patients at home.
A strong interpersonal relationship after stroke is important for the well-being of survivors and family caregivers. However, as many as 54% of families experience relationship problems after stroke and as many as 38% of couples experience overt conflict. The purpose of this study is to enhance understanding about relationship challenges among stroke dyads and to identify implications for direct practice in social work. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with N = 19 care dyads. Qualitative data were analyzed through an interpretive description lens. Seven themes about relationship challenges were identified. Findings highlight areas to consider in promoting strong relationships between survivors and family caregivers. Social workers may have the opportunity to assist dyads with disrupting negative communication cycles, strengthening empathy and collaboration, and achieving a balance so that each person's needs are met.
Background and Purpose- Persistent depression after ischemic stroke is common in stroke survivors and may be even higher in family caregivers, but few studies have examined depressive symptom levels and their predictors in patient and caregiver groups simultaneously. Methods- Stroke survivors and their family caregivers (205 dyads) were enrolled from the national REGARDS study (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) into the CARES study (Caring for Adults Recovering from the Effects of Stroke) ≈9 months after a first-time ischemic stroke. Demographically matched stroke-free dyads (N=205) were also enrolled. Participants were interviewed by telephone, and depressive symptoms were assessed with the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale. Results- Significant elevations in depressive symptoms (Ps<0.03) were observed for stroke survivors (M=8.38) and for their family caregivers (M=6.42) relative to their matched controls (Ms=5.18 and 4.62, respectively). Stroke survivors reported more symptoms of depression than their caregivers (P=0.008). No race or sex differences were found, but differential prediction of depressive symptom levels was found across patients and caregivers. Younger age and having an older caregiver were associated with more depressive symptoms in stroke survivors while being a spouse caregiver and reporting fewer positive aspects of caregiving were associated with more depressive symptoms in caregivers. The percentage of caregivers at risk for clinically significant depression was lower in this population-based sample (12%) than in previous studies of caregivers from convenience or clinical samples. Conclusions- High depressive symptom levels are common 9 months after first-time ischemic strokes for stroke survivors and family caregivers, but rates of depressive symptoms at risk for clinical depression were lower for caregivers than previously reported. Predictors of depression differ for patients and caregivers, and standards of care should incorporate family caregiving factors.
The sixth update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations for Transitions and Community Participation following Stroke is a comprehensive set of evidence-based guidelines addressing issues faced by people following an acute stroke event. Establishing a coordinated and seamless system of care that supports progress achieved during the initial recovery stages throughout the transition to the community is more essential than ever as the medical complexity of people with stroke is also on the rise. All members of the health-care team engaged with people with stroke, their families, and caregivers are responsible for partnerships and collaborations to ensure successful transitions and return to the community following stroke. These guidelines reinforce the growing and changing body of research evidence available to guide ongoing screening, assessment, and management of individuals following stroke as they move from one phase and stage of care to the next without "falling through the cracks." It also recognizes the growing role of family and informal caregivers in providing significant hours of support that disrupt their own lives and responsibilities and addresses their support and educational needs. According to Statistics Canada, in 2012, eight million Canadians provided care to family members or friends with a long-term health condition, disability, or problems associated with aging. These recommendations incorporate aspects that were previously in the rehabilitation module for the purposes of streamlining, and both modules should be reviewed in order to provide comprehensive care addressing recovery and community reintegration and participation. These recommendations cover topics related to support and education of people with stroke, families, and caregivers during transitions and community reintegration. They include interprofessional planning and communication, return to driving, vocational roles, leisure activities and relationships and sexuality, and transition to long-term care.
Purpose: The aim of the study was to identify areas of caregiver engagement in stroke care as viewed by stroke survivors and family caregivers.; Design: Interviews with stroke survivor/caregiver dyads (N = 71) from a population-based study of incident stroke.; Methods: We interviewed stroke survivors and caregivers about caregiver involvement at multiple stages of stroke care. We assessed similarities and differences between stroke survivor and caregiver reports and analyzed responses to open-ended questions.; Findings: Stroke survivor and caregiver reports of engagement were highly correlated (r = .89), although caregivers reported higher involvement. Open-ended comments suggested that, in about 25% of cases, stroke survivors and caregivers agreed that caregiver engagement led to major improvements in stroke survivor care, most commonly during onset of symptoms.; Conclusions: Stroke survivors and caregivers report significant and impactful caregiver engagement throughout the course of stroke.; Clinical Relevance: Clinicians may enhance stroke care by recognizing and facilitating caregiver efforts across all phases of stroke care.
Background and Purpose- Family caregivers play a central role in the recovery of people with stroke. They need support to optimize the care they provide and their own health and well-being. Despite support from the literature and best practice recommendations, healthcare systems are not formally adopting caregiver programs. This study aimed to describe system-level facilitators and barriers to caregiver support program implementation in a regional stroke system. Methods- Using a qualitative descriptive study design, focus groups were conducted with regional rehabilitation specialists, education coordinators, community and long-term care specialists, and regional/district program directors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with regional medical directors, health professionals providing stroke care in acute care, rehabilitation and community settings, regional health executives, and primary care leaders. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results- Four focus groups (n=43) and 29 interviews were conducted. We identified 4 themes related to caregiver program implementation: (1) establishing the need for caregiver education and support in an integrated healthcare system; (2) incorporating caregiver programs into the system of care across the care continuum; (3) uncertainty regarding ownership and responsibility for implementation; and (4) addressing regional variations related to access, availability, and culture. Conclusions- This study provides a comprehensive understanding of organization and system-level considerations for implementing caregiver programs in a regional stroke system. Program implementation requires evidence to establish the need for caregiver programs, practical strategies, and establishing ownership to incorporate programs into existing healthcare systems, and consideration of regional variations across healthcare systems. Ultimately, adopting programs to support caregivers will improve recovery in people with stroke and caregiver well-being.
Objectives: Supporting the achievement of post-stroke late adulthood development is a unique experience that impacts heavily on families. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of family experience in providing support post-stroke to a family member and enabling them to achieve late adulthood development and then to interpret this.; Method: The research used a qualitative design with a descriptive phenomenology approach. The participants were 14 caregivers of the elderly.; Results: The results (1) the impact of the bio-psycho-socio-spiritual on the elderly post-stroke survivor, (2) how the family fulfills the needs of the post-stroke elderly person, (3) the impact of the post-stroke period on the elderly by family members, (4) the achievement of post-stroke late adulthood development by family members, and (5) the meaning of providing care for the post-stroke elderly survivor.; Conclusions: This research identified 5 themes and recommendations are that psychoeducation for the carers of stroke survivors should be improved.
Objective: Despite the increasing availability of eRehabilitation, its use remains limited. The aim of this study was to assess factors associated with willingness to use eRehabilitation.; Design: Cross-sectional survey.; Subjects: Stroke patients, informal caregivers, health-care professionals.; Methods: The survey included personal characteristics, willingness to use eRehabilitation (yes/no) and barriers/facilitators influencing this willingness (4-point scale). Barriers/facilitators were merged into factors. The association between these factors and willingness to use eRehabilitation was assessed using logistic regression analyses.; Results: Overall, 125 patients, 43 informal caregivers and 105 healthcare professionals participated in the study. Willingness to use eRehabilitation was positively influenced by perceived patient benefits (e.g. reduced travel time, increased motivation, better outcomes), among patients (odds ratio (OR) 2.68; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.34-5.33), informal caregivers (OR 8.98; 95% CI 1.70-47.33) and healthcare professionals (OR 6.25; 95% CI 1.17-10.48). Insufficient knowledge decreased willingness to use eRehabilitation among patients (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.17-0.74). Limitations of the study include low response rates and possible response bias.; Conclusion: Differences were found between patients/informal caregivers and healthcare professionals. However, for both groups, perceived benefits of the use of eRehabilitation facilitated willingness to use eRehabilitation. Further research is needed to determine the benefits of such programs, and inform all users about the potential benefits, and how to use eRehabilitation.
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of family-engaged multidimensional team planning and management for patients with severe stroke and low functional status and to identify factors predictive of improved outcome at 1 month after admission. Methods We retrospectively evaluated 50 patients who underwent family-engaged multidimensional rehabilitation for recovery from severe stroke due to primary unilateral cerebral lesions. The rehabilitation consisted of three phases: comprehensive multidimensional assessment, intensive rehabilitation, and evaluation. Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores were calculated and used to predict the patients’ status at discharge. Results Although all FIM scores significantly improved after 1 month of rehabilitation, the motor FIM (mFIM) score improved the most (from 20.5±1.0 to 32.6±2.0). The total FIM (tFIM) and mFIM scores continued to improve from the first month to discharge (mean mFIM efficiency, 0.33). The high-efficiency patient group (mFIM efficiency ≥0.19) had a significantly higher discharge-to-home rate (44% vs. 13%), lower frequency of hemispatial neglect, and more severe finger numbness than the low-efficiency patient group (mFIM efficiency <0.19). The regression analyses revealed that besides lower mFIM and cognitive FIM scores at admission, unilateral spatial neglect, systemic comorbidities, and age were predictive of worse 1-month outcomes and tFIM scores (conformity, R²=0.78; predictive power, Akaike information criterion value=202). Conclusion Family-engaged multidimensional team planning and management are useful for patients with severe stroke and low functional status. Furthermore, FIM scores at admission, age, unilateral spatial neglect, and systemic comorbidities should be considered by rehabilitation teams when advising caregivers on the probability of favorable outcomes after rehabilitation.
Aim: To study the association of caregiver factors and stroke patient factors with rehospitalizations over the first 3 months and subsequent 3-12 months post-stroke in Singapore.; Methods: Patients with stroke and their caregivers were recruited in the Singapore Stroke Study, a prospective yearlong cohort. While caregiver and patient variables were taken from this study, hospitalization data were extracted from the national claims database. We used Poisson modelling to perform bivariate and multivariable analysis with counts of hospitalization as the outcome.; Results: Two hundred and fifty-six patient with stroke and caregiver dyads (N = 512) were analysed, with patients having spouse (60%), child (29%), sibling (4%) and other (7%) as their caregivers. Among all participants, 89% of index strokes were ischemic, 57% were mild in severity and more than half (59%) of the patients had moderate or severe disability post-stroke as measured on the Modified Rankin Scale. Having social support in the form of a foreign domestic worker for general help of caregiver reduced the hospitalization rate over 3 months post-stroke by 66% (IRR: 0.342; 95% CI: 0.180, 0.651). Compared to having a spousal caregiver, those with a child caregiver had an almost three times greater rate of hospitalizations over 3-12 months post-stroke (IRR: 2.896; 95% CI: 1.399, 5.992). Higher reported caregiving burden at the 3-month point was associated with the higher subsequent rate of hospitalization.; Conclusion: Recommendations include the adoption of a dyadic or holistic approach to post-stroke care provision by healthcare practitioners, giving due importance to both patients with stroke and their caregivers, integrating caregivers in the healthcare system to extend the care continuum to include informal care in the community and provision of timely support for caregivers.
The purpose of this study is to explore the needs of family members at the bedside of stroke patients (n = 12) admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF). Family members' needs were determined through semistructured interviews, "Draw a Bridge" art therapy technique, and the Family Inventory of Needs. Family members described a family-centered approach to care that addressed the following needs: assistance with preparing for discharge, staff caring for family members, communication about the plan of care and what to expect postdischarge, and trusting the care provided by IRF staff. Art therapy revealed that stroke was a crisis with many unmet needs for the interviewer to explore. Descriptive statistical analysis of the Family Inventory of Needs revealed that both met and unmet needs were consistent with the interviews and the interpretations of the drawings. These findings inform the need for interventions during IRF to enhance communication, support, and effective caregiver education amidst the crisis of stroke.
Background: Family caregivers of post-stroke patients face many challenges that may result in depressive symptoms and ineffective care performance. This generates a negative correlation spiral related to the quality of life for both family caregivers and patients. Examining factors related to depressive symptoms among family caregivers is necessary to develop effective care and education programs. Objective: The study aimed to identify the contradictions, similarity, and uncovered factors related to depressive symptoms scores among family caregivers through comparison of examined variables. Methodology: A literature search from December 1988 to March 2016 was carried out using CINAHL and PubMed databases. The initial search found 84 articles. After eliminating duplicates and screening based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, 16 articles were reviewed. Results: Three main factors found were: (1) contradictory factors which included gender, family relationship status, and depressive symptoms scores between caregivers and stroke patients, (2) Similarity factors which included race, age, caregiving burden of family caregivers, functional status of stroke patient, and (3) uncovered factors which included the role of nurses, spiritual value, knowledge of depressive symptoms, conducive living environment, and types of family structure. Conclusions: The contradictions of findings and uncovered factors observed be used as evidence for subsequent investigations. Gender, the different roles of family, relationship, and the severity of stroke should be considered in identifying depressive symptoms among family caregivers in the early stages during hospitalization. Nurses have an important role to identify depressive symptoms because of their active role and greater interaction with family caregivers compared with other health professionals. Implication for nursing and health policy: The study findings highlights the important factors to consider and use in developing health policy related to family education program and early screening for depressive symptoms to reduce and prevent depressive symptoms among family caregivers.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between Burden of Care and Quality of Life in informal home caregivers of stroke patients in Iran. Also we were trying to explore the factors that affect the burden of care. In this cross-sectional study, we have selected 62 informal home caregivers of the patients admitted to "the stroke outpatient unit of the neurology clinic" of the central hospital in Semnan province, Iran, to take part in the investigation. We interviewed them using the Caregiver Burden Inventory and SF-36 Questionnaire for assessing their quality of life. There was a negative and significant correlation between different aspects of quality of life and burden of care. In the bivariate regression model, being married and having lower levels of education (minimum years of schooling) were associated with higher levels of the burden. Our study shows that increasing burden of care in informal home caregivers reduces the quality of life in all domains. Thus, the results of this study indicate that an increase in the burden of caregiving on caregivers lowers their quality of life in all aspects; especially, caregivers who provide care to their spouses encountered more burden. Therefore, these caregivers must be in the center of interest while planning to reduce the burden of care.
BACKGROUND: In Norway, changes in life expectancy have led to increased attention to older people who are ageing at home, by means of home care services, adapted technology and informal caregivers. The caring situation has become difficult for many caregivers. The use of telecare has now offered them the possibility to receive support at home. The purpose of this study was to explore how nurses provide support and care at a distance, using a web camera and a web forum in a closed telecare network for caregivers to persons suffering from stroke and dementia. METHODS: The study had an explorative design with a qualitative approach. The data sources consisted of interviews with nurses and excerpts from posts in a closed telecare network. Content analysis was used to analyse the text from the interviews and the text from the web forum. RESULTS: The main theme, "Balancing asymmetric and symmetric relationships" described nurses' relationship with caregiver. Two categories, "Balancing personal and professional qualities" and "Balancing caregivers' dependence versus independence" were identified. The first describing the tension in their dialogue, the second describing how nurses provided the caregivers with a sense of security as well as strengthening them to master their daily lives. CONCLUSIONS: The nurses provided long distance support and care for the caregivers, by using computer-meditated communication. This communication was characterized by closeness as well as empathy. To strengthen the caregivers' competence and independence, the nurses were easy accessible and provided virtual supervision and support. This study increases the knowledge about online dialogues and relationship between nurses and caregivers. It contributes to knowledge about balancing in the relationship, as well as knowledge about bridging the gap between technologies and nursing care as potential conflicting dimensions. Maintenance of ethical principles are therefore critical to be aware of.
Background: The relationship between stroke survivors and family caregivers is critical for the well-being of both dyad members. Currently, there are few interventions targeted at dyads and focused on strengthening the relationship between survivors and family caregivers. Objectives: This study reports on the development of a customizable, strengths-based, relationship-focused intervention driven by the real-world experience and advice of stroke dyads. It also describes the "tips" that survivors and family caregivers offered for dealing with relationship challenges after stroke. Methods: Content of the intervention, including relationship tips, was derived from semi-structured interviews with N= 19 stroke dyads. A modified Delphi process with a national panel of 10 subject matter experts was used to evaluate and refine the content of the intervention and the associated screening tool. Results: Seventeen domains of relationship challenges and tips were identified. Consensus was reached among experts that the intervention content was relevant to the goal of helping survivors and family caregivers maintain a strong relationship after stroke; (2) clear from the perspective of stroke survivors and family caregivers who would be using it; (3) accurate with respect to the advice being offered, and; (4) useful for helping stroke survivors and family caregivers improve the quality of their relationship. Conclusions: This study extends the limited body of research about dyadic interventions after stroke. The next steps in this line of research include feasibility testing the intervention and evaluating its efficacy in a larger trial.
BACKGROUND: Care partners of stroke survivors are often characterized by high burden levels and depression. Passive and active interventions have been proposed to help reduce burden and depression. The aim of this quality improvement report was to evaluate the effects of a single passive intervention on reported burden and depression in carers of stroke survivors. METHODS: A quality improvement report was conducted on carers who participated in a short passive intervention (n = 56) and a control group (n = 44). The Family Strain Questionnaire-Short Form (FSQ-SF) and the Beck Depression Inventory II were administered in both groups at patients' admission and before discharge, with the intervention taking place between the 2 data collection periods. RESULTS: No significant difference between groups was observed in FSQ-SF score and prevalence of depression at admission and in FSQ-SF at discharge. However, compared with admission, FSQ-SF at discharge was significantly reduced only in the intervention group (pre: 14, and interquartile range, 12-15; post: 9, and interquartile range, 9-13; P < .01). Moreover, a smaller proportion of carers classified as "depression" was found at discharge in the intervention group compared with controls (4% vs 28%, respectively; P < .01). CONCLUSION: Results encourage the development and use of short passive intervention to reduce burden and depression in care partners of stroke survivors.
Background: A user-centered design approach for eHealth interventions improves their effectiveness in stroke rehabilitation. Nevertheless, insight into requirements of end-users (patients/informal caregivers and/or health professionals) for eRehabilitation is lacking. The aim of this study was to identify end-user requirements for a comprehensive eHealth program in stroke rehabilitation. Methods: Eight focus groups were conducted to identify user requirements; six with patients/informal caregivers and two with health professionals involved in stroke rehabilitation (rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, team coordinators, speech therapist). The focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed in full. Direct content analysis was used to identify the end-user requirements for stroke eHealth interventions concerning three categories: accessibility, usability and content. Results: In total, 45 requirements for the accessibility, usability and content of a stroke eRehabilitation program emerged from the focus groups. Most requirements concerned content (27 requirements), followed by usability (12 requirements) and accessibility (6 requirements). Patients/informal caregivers and health professionals each identified 37 requirements, respectively, with 29 of them overlapping. Conclusions: Requirements between stroke patients/informal caregivers and health professionals differed on several aspects. Therefore, involving the perspectives of all end users in the design process of stroke eRehabilitation programs is needed to achieve a user-centered design. Trial registration: The study was approved by the Medical Ethical Review Board of the Leiden University Medical Center [P15.281].
Background: Family caregivers (CGs) are critical to the care and recovery of stroke survivors (SSs), particularly in the community. However, little is known about their psychosocial well-being, especially in developing countries. In this study, we assessed CG burden, psychiatric morbidity, quality of life (QoL), and predictors of burden. Materials and Methods: We recruited 150 dyads of CGs/SSs from two outpatient clinics in Nigeria. Data were collected through sociodemographic/clinical questionnaire, the Zarit caregiver burden interview, the World Health Organization QoL-BREF, and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Disability in SSs was graded with the Modified Rankin Scale. Results: Compared to CGs who were mostly females (86.7%) with a mean age of 42.8 (±12.6) years, SSs were older with a mean age of 61.6 (±12.5) years and were mainly males (62.7%). The mean CG burden score was 31.6 (±10.5) and eight in 10 CGs, 124 (82.7%) reported moderate-to-severe burden scores. Mental disorders in the form of depression and/or anxiety disorders were diagnosed in 26 (17.3%) CGs. Significant predictors of high-burden scores (P < 0.05) were incontinence in SSs, psychological symptoms in SS, worse poststroke disability, and performance of more CG tasks (B = 8.3, 4.5, 3.9, and 3.5, respectively). CGs QoL scores correlated negatively with burden scores, with medium-to-large effect sizes (r =-0.4-0.6) across QoL spheres. Conclusion: In this study, psychosocial burden in CGs was indexed by various determinants and impacted QoL negatively. Given the integral role of CGs to the care of SSs in the community, mental health services, psychosocial support programs, and stratification based on known vulnerability factors seems viable options for intervention, assessment, and planning.
Objective: Stroke is a major global public health burden. Unfortunately, stroke invariably leads to functional limitations, consequently, most stroke survivors are hugely dependent on family members/informal caregivers in carrying out essential daily activities. The increased demands of caregiving negatively impact caregivers' mental health. Nevertheless, caregivers who receive an adequate amount of social support are likely to adjust better to the caregiving role. We sought to determine the impact of social support on the mental wellbeing of 71 caregivers of patients with stroke in Zimbabwe, a low-resourced country. Results: The mean caregiver age was 41.5 (SD 13.8) years. Patients had a mean age of 65.2 (SD 15.3) years with most being functionally dependent (93.2%). 45.1% of the caregivers showed excessive psychiatric morbidity. The mean Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) score was 44 (SD 9.4), denoting high levels of social support. Caregivers who received an adequate amount of social support were likely to report of lower psychiatric morbidity (Rho = - 0.285, p = 0.016). Furthermore, caregiver who were; poorer, were caring for more functionally-dependent patients, and did not receive additional assistance were likely to report of poor mental health functioning. There is therefore a strong need to implement context-specific caregivers wellness programs.
This longitudinal mixed-method study examined the types of help provided by caregivers to optimize participation of older adults with cognitive deficits post-stroke (care recipients), and how these types of help varied with caregiver's burden. Twelve family caregivers of care recipients post-stroke completed a burden questionnaire and semi-structured interviews one month, three months, and six months following care recipient's discharge home from acute care, rehabilitation, or day hospital. Care recipients completed cognitive tests and a social participation questionnaire. Types of help caregivers provided differed according to the amount of daily living support, degree of concern for care recipient's well-being, and impact on caregivers' social life. Interestingly, types of help fostering care recipient's social participation, self-esteem, and abilities were unrelated to a negative impact on caregivers' social life. Understanding how different types of help relate to caregiver burden could improve the types of help to optimize care recipients' social participation without overburdening caregivers
Background: Informal caregivers provide a large amount of day-to-day assistance and are crucial for the ability of survivors to recover and adapt to life after stroke.; Aim: The development of caregiver support programs is limited by lack of large long-term follow-up studies. We present a comprehensive study of Swedish stroke caregivers' life situation in relation to degree of functional dependency of the survivor.; Patients and Methods: In 2016, the Swedish Stroke Register, Riksstroke, conducted a long-term follow-up survey on caregivers to patients with stroke three and five years earlier. Items on psychological well-being were adapted from the 36-item short-form health survey and poor outcome was defined using the 36-item short-form health survey reference material. Survivor degree of dependency was indicated by the caregiver as independent, partially dependent, or completely dependent.; Results: A total of 5063 community dwelling dyads were included: 56.5% of survivors were independent, 33.4% partially dependent, and 10.1% completely dependent. Caregiver life impact, need of support, and proportion of poor psychological well-being increased incrementally with survivor degree of dependency. In the completely dependent group where 41.1% of survivors could not be left unattended for more than 1 h, 23.7% of caregivers expressed unmet need of caregiver support; 51.4% reported poor psychological well-being compared to 19.3% in the independent group.; Conclusion: The caregiver situation varies greatly with degree of survivor dependency which makes generalizations of caregiver needs difficult. Our results emphasize the need for integrating support aimed specifically at caregivers to survivors of stroke with a large degree of dependency.
Introduction: Stroke is a major global health problem and second leading cause of death worldwide. In India, the incidence of stroke rate has increased from 56/100,000 person to 117/100,000 person. Stroke rehabilitation is an active process and begins during acute hospitalisation. Stroke survivors may return to an active and productive lifestyle through rehabilitation. Aim: To determine the effectiveness of Structured Teaching Programme (STP) on the knowledge about rehabilitation of stroke patients among caregivers. Materials and Methods: A pre-experimental pre-test, posttest research design was used to conduct this study. Purposive sampling was the sampling method used to collect data from family caregivers of stroke survivors on the basis of semistructured interview schedule. After collecting pre-test data, STP was organised for intervention of stroke rehabilitation to samples. Seven days were provided to the samples for utilising STP which was organised for 45-50 minutes through lecture, discussion and planned Audio-Visual (AV) aids. Posttest information was gathered after seven days from the day of teaching intervention. Seven days was assigned after getting expert opinions as well as to give time for implication of knowledge through practice of stroke rehabilitation. The sample characteristics were described by frequency, percentage and t-test was used to describe the difference between pre-test and post-test knowledge score. Chi-square test was also used to find out the association between knowledge of caregivers regarding stroke rehabilitations and selected demographic variables. Results: The mean pre-test knowledge score was 9.76 and mean post-test knowledge score was 14.7. There was a statistically significant improvement in the level of knowledge regarding stroke rehabilitations among caregivers (t0.001,29=3.659) and no association was found between pre-test knowledge level and selected demographic variables. Conclusion: The demand of stroke rehabilitation by involving family caregivers is increasing as it will help stroke patient to improve activity of daily livings as well as decrease disability and prevent complications.
In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to determine factors influencing the health status of caregivers of stroke survivors. A total of 126 caregivers of stroke survivors were recruited from three outpatient clinics in Thai Nguyen National General Hospital, Vietnam, from November 2016 to March 2017. Data were collected through six instruments: a demographic questionnaire, the Modified Barthel Index, the Zarit Burden Interview Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Family Caregiver Conflict Scale, and the Short Form-36 Health Survey. Stepwise multiple regression was employed to analyze the data. Caregiver burden, patient's functional status, caregiver's age, and social support together explained 80.3% of the variations in health status of caregivers of stroke survivors. Caregiver burden was the strongest predictor of health status of these caregivers. Based on the findings, nurses should take caregiver's age, functional status of stroke survivors, caregiver burden, and social support into consideration when preparing family caregivers to provide care for stroke survivors. To reduce perceived caregiver burden, family support interventions should be embraced to enhance health status of the caregivers of stroke survivors.
Objective: To identify the key components of a biopsychosocial support intervention to improve mental wellbeing for informal stroke carers within the first year post-stroke based on the combined perspectives of experts in the field of psychological care after stroke and informal stroke carers themselves. Methods: After reviewing the existing literature a cross-sectional mixed-methods design was adopted comprising 1) focus groups with informal stroke carers about their psychological support needs, and 2) nominal group technique with academic and clinical stroke care experts to reach consensus on intervention priorities. Transcripts were thematically analyzed and combined with the ranked priorities from the nominal group to identify key components for intervention content. Results: Key themes for informal stroke carers were associated with: 1) changes in relationships, roles, and dynamics; 2) emotional impact and acceptance; 3) drawing on inner resources; 4) looking for information, solutions, and explanations; 5) support from others. The expert nominal group placed priority on eight ranked areas: 1) acknowledging "normal" emotions; 2) education about the effects of a stroke; 3) reactions to loss and adjustment; 4) recognizing signs and symptoms of not coping; 5) knowing how and when to access practical and emotional support; 6) strategies for taking care of own health; 7) dealing with difficult emotions; and 8) problem solving skills. Conclusions: Themes from the informal carer focus groups, and ranked priority areas will inform the development of a biopsychosocial support intervention for stroke carers to be tested in a feasibility randomized controlled trial.
There are few formal outreach and out-patient support services to help family caring for older adults who have had a stroke in developing countries. Family caregivers experience negative changes in their quality of life. To assess quality of life perceptions of spouse and non-spouse caregivers of older adult stroke survivors. A longitudinal survey study. A convenience sample of forty-eight family caregivers was recruited from the Special Care Stroke Unit at a University Hospital in South Brazil. Quality of life was measured using the World Health Organization's Quality of Life BREF survey upon discharge from the hospital (Time 1) and two months after (Time 2). Non-spouse caregivers had the lowest Social Relationship scores at Time 1 (p <.001) and at Time 2 (p =.005), both in terms of personal relationship, the quality of their sex lives and support received from others. Unfortunately, formal community support programs for family caregivers in Brazil are lacking. Post-stroke caregiving is largely a family affair. Quality of Life assessments among family caregivers of older adult stroke survivors are crucial, particularly after discharge.
Many stroke survivors require care from informal carers such as family members and friends who may experience adverse impacts. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors, and their preferences for interventions and support services. We conducted 24 semi-structured, qualitative interviews with carers of stroke survivors from the Hunter region, Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was used in the context of a needs-led framework to identify key themes of their unmet needs. Key unmet needs identified by carers of stroke survivors in this study centred on four main themes: (1) social relationships and support; (2) adequacy of information; (3) taking care of oneself; and (4) accessing appropriate services. Carers of stroke survivors desired the development of services which provide connectivity to information, training, education and community support; and inclusion in a community with social relationships and other carers of stroke survivors. Ongoing unmet needs often result in adverse health and quality of life outcomes for carers of stroke survivors. Co-designed programs and resources for carers, particularly relating to unmet needs in social, information, self-care and service access domains are needed.
Health and care services for patients may improve or harm the wellbeing of their family carers. Formal consideration of these effects (also known as spillovers) in decision-making is advocated, but, to date, little is known about how they occur. This paper presents the first empirical study to determine the mechanisms by which health and care services affect family carers' wellbeing. The study focused on three major health conditions: dementia, stroke, and mental health. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 49 purposefully sampled care professionals and family carers in the UK between December 2016 and September 2017. Transcripts were coded and analysed thematically, using descriptive accounts and an explanatory account. The analysis generated six over-arching mechanisms by which health and care services affect family carers' wellbeing, through:
Each mechanism was associated with sub-themes relating to both positive and negative spillovers on the family carers. The six mechanisms can be summarised with the mnemonic ‘IMPACT’. The IMPACT mechanisms may be useful in designing and evaluating services to optimise the wellbeing of carers as well as patients. •First qualitative study to identify mechanisms behind family carer spillovers.•Mechanisms were ‘information’, ‘management’, ‘patient’, ‘alienation’, ‘compliance’, ‘timing’.•Summarised by mnemonic IMPACT and relevant across conditions.•Each mechanism generated positive and negative spillover.
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the caregiver burden over time of patients with haemorrhagic stroke and the determinants of this. Background: Identification of the predictors for caregiver burden can be used to improve the outcomes of stroke survivors and caregivers. Few studies focus on the caregiver burden of patients with haemorrhagic stroke and how this changes over time. Design This was a prospective longitudinal study. Methods: A convenience sample of 202 stroke survivor/caregiver pairs were recruited in the neurosurgery unit from March 2015 to March 2016. The participants were assessed at three different times by face to face or telephone interview. Caregiver burden was assessed using the Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale. Sociodemographic data and other characteristics of the pairs were also collected. Multiple linear regression was performed to identify the determinants. Results: Caregiver burden decreased from T1 to T3 significantly. The physical function, depression of stroke survivors, and self‐rated burden of caregivers were the most important determinants for overall caregiver burden. The factors identified explained 41.6% to 67.4% of overall burden. Conclusion: Caregiver burden decreased over time, affected by factors from patients and caregivers. More professional caregivers are needed to support informal carers.
Meaning in caregiving plays an influential role in stroke family caregiver's perception and adaptation to caregiving. Although the role meaning plays in stroke family caregiving has been recognized, knowledge about this subject among the Chinese population is fragmented and sparse. Therefore, a hermeneutic phenomenological study was conducted as a first step in a program of research focused on Chinese caregivers utilizing a purposive sample of five stroke family caregivers living in China to explore the meaning of the lived caregiving experience. Data were collected through in-depth interviews and analyzed by a phenomenological hermeneutic interpretation. Meaning in stroke family caregiving was interpreted as suffering, an obligation, a personal choice, a meaningful opportunity, and a natural part of living. These meanings were dynamic and interconnected and were affected deeply by the Chinese culture in how caregivers experience, interpret, and cope with caregiving. Findings highlight the need to understand the culture-shaped meanings in caregiving to better support family caregivers and develop culturally tailored interventions.
People who have had a stroke face high risks of cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression. Health education for family members contributes to better outcomes in various diseases, but the effects of health education on family members of people who have had a stroke are unclear. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of the family member education program (FMEP) on cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression in persons who have had a stroke. In total, 144 persons who experienced a stroke were randomly allocated to the FMEP group or control group (1:1 ratio). In the FMEP group, the FMEP and conventional treatment were provided, while in control group only conventional treatment was provided. The increase in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) score from baseline to 12 months (M12 – baseline) in the FMEP group was higher compared with the control group, and the FMEP led to a decreased cognitive impairment rate (MOCA score ≤26) after 12 months compared to the control group. Changes in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety and depression score (M12 – baseline) decreased in the FMEP group compared with the control group. Fewer participants with depression and a lower depression grade were observed in the FMEP group compared with the control group. The FMEP could reduce cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression in persons who have had a stroke.
Objectives: Stroke survivors require assistance and support in their daily lives. This survey aims to investigate the needs and rights awareness in Chinese stroke survivors and caregivers in rural and urban settings.; Setting: This survey was adapted from the one created by the World Stroke Organization. The questionnaire included demands for psychological support, treatment and care, social support and information. From January 2015 to January 2016, the survey was pilot tested with urban and rural-dwelling stroke survivors and caregivers from 12 hospitals. Stroke survivors were invited to participate if they were over 18 years old and had experienced a stroke. Exclusion criteria were patients who had disorders of consciousness, significant cognitive impairment, aphasia, communication difficulties or psychiatric disorders. Only caregivers who were family members of the patients were chosen. Paid caregivers were excluded.; Participants: One thousand, one hundred and sixty-seven stroke survivors and 1119 caregivers were enrolled.; Primary Outcome Measures: The needs of stroke survivors and caregivers in rural and urban areas were compared. The correlations between needs of rural and urban stroke survivors and caregivers and potential effect factors were analysed, respectively.; Results: Among the cohort, 93.5% reported the need for psychological support, 88.6% for treatment and care, 84.8% for information and 62.7% for social support. The total needs and each aspect of needs of stroke survivors in urban settings were greater than of those in rural settings (p<0.01). In rural areas, total needs and each aspect of needs were positively correlated with education level (p<0.01).; Conclusions: Needs and rights awareness of stroke survivors should also be recognised in both urban and rural China. According to the different needs of patients and their caregivers, regional and individualised services were needed by stroke survivors and their caregivers.
Background: Family members frequently provide long-term care for stroke survivors, which can lead to psychological strain, particularly in the presence of cognitive decline.; Objectives: To profile anxious and depressive symptoms of family caregivers at 5 years post-stroke, and to explore associations with stroke survivor cognitive decline.; Methods: As part of a 5-year follow-up of the Action on Secondary Prevention Interventions and Rehabilitation in Stroke (ASPIRE-S) cohort of stroke survivors, family members completed a self-report questionnaire. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed using the HADS-A and CES-D. Cognitive decline in stroke survivors was assessed from the caregiver's perspective using the IQCODE, with cognitive performance assessed by the MoCA. Data were analyzed using logistic regression models.; Results: 78 family members participated; 25.5% exhibited depressive symptoms, 19.4% had symptoms of anxiety. Eleven stroke survivors (16.7%) had evidence of cognitive decline according to both the IQCODE and MoCA. Family members of stroke survivors with cognitive decline were significantly more likely to report symptoms of depression [age-adjusted OR (95% CI): 5.94 (1.14, 30.89)] or anxiety [age-adjusted OR (95% CI): 5.64 (1.24, 25.54)] than family members of stroke survivors without cognitive decline.; Conclusions: One-fifth of family caregivers exhibited symptoms of anxiety and one-quarter symptoms of depression at 5 years post-stroke. Stroke survivor cognitive decline was significantly associated with both depressive and anxious symptoms of family caregivers. Family members play a key role in the care and rehabilitation of stroke patients; enhancing their psychological wellbeing and identifying unmet needs are essential to improving outcomes for stroke survivors and families.
With stroke being one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, families and social systems may face strain as they adjust to a caregiving role. This strain may be amplified in family systems living in rural areas due to limited access to resources. Thus, it is important for helping professionals such as couple, marriage, and family therapists to understand what facets of this disability are linked with caregiver strain as well as to explore and understand various interventions that may ease caregiver burden. Using existing data from 177 pairs of stroke patients and their family caregivers in rural Mainland China, the present study utilized a moderation analysis to examine (1) the association between stroke patient physical functioning, patient mental health, and their family caregiver burden and (2) how a developed patient rehabilitation intervention program for caregivers moderated the association between patient physical functioning as well as mental health and caregiver burden 6-month post intervention. Results suggested that better patient physical functioning were related to lower levels of caregiver burden (b = − 1.418, p <.001, β = − 0.33). However, the developed rehabilitation intervention program did not significantly moderate the association between stroke patient physical functioning as well as mental health and caregiver burden. These findings provide insight into correlates of stroke patients' caregiver burden in rural China. Development of more effective rehabilitation programs and interventions for stroke patients and their family caregivers as well how couple, marriage, and family therapists may be uniquely qualified to contribute to such interventions is discussed.
Background: Stroke often results in chronic disability, with partners and family members taking on the role of informal caregiver. There is considerable uncertainty regarding how best to identify and address carers' needs. The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) is a carer-led approach to individualised assessment and support for caregiving that may be beneficial in palliative care contexts. CSNAT includes an implementation toolkit. Through collaboration, including with service users, we adapted CSNAT for stroke and for use in a UK stroke specialist organisation providing long-term support. The main aims of OSCARSS are to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of CSNAT-Stroke relative to current practice. This paper focuses on the trial protocol, with the embedded process evaluation reported separately. Methods: Longitudinal, multi-site, pragmatic, cluster randomised controlled trial with a health economic analysis. Clusters are UK services randomised to CSNAT-Stroke intervention or usual care, stratified by size of service. Eligible carer participants are: adults aged > 18 years; able to communicate in English; referred to participating clusters; and seen face-to-face at least once by the provider, for support. The 'date seen' for initial support denotes the start of intervention (or control) and carers are referred to the research team after this for study recruitment. Primary outcome is caregiver strain (FACQ - Strain) at three months after 'date seen'. Secondary outcomes include: caregiver distress; positive caregiving appraisals (both FACQ subscales); Pound Carer Satisfaction with Services; mood (HADs); and health (EQ-5D5L) at three months. All outcomes are followed up at six months. Health economic analyses will use additional data on caregiver health service utilisation and informal care provision.Discussion: OSCARSS is open to recruitment at the time of article submission. Study findings will allow us to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the CSNAT-Stroke intervention, directed at improving outcomes for informal carers of stroke survivors. Trial findings will be interpreted in the context of our embedded process evaluation including qualitative interviews with those who received and provided services as well as data on treatment fidelity. OSCARSS will contribute to knowledge of the unmet needs of informal stroke caregivers and inform future stroke service development.Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN58414120 . Registered on 26 July 2016.
Background: Stroke is highly debilitating and requires long-term care. Informal caregivers of stroke survivors play important roles in stroke rehabilitation. Caring for stroke survivors can negatively affect the caregivers' well-being and may adversely impact on their caregiving quality and subsequently on stroke survivors' well-being. There seems to be a dearth of research on the relationships between caregivers' and stroke survivors' well-being.; Aims and Objectives: This study was designed to determine the relationships among informal caregivers' burden and quality of life (QOL) and stroke survivors' QOL and community reintegration.; Methods: This ethically certified cross-sectional survey involved 82 stroke survivors (mean age = 60.48 ± 11.13 years) and their 82 primary caregivers (mean age = 36.13 ± 13.69 years) consecutively recruited from seven conveniently sampled tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. Caregivers Strain Index, Igbo-culture adapted Maleka Stroke Community Reintegration Measure and Short-Form 36-item Health Survey questionnaires were used to assess the caregivers' burden, survivors' community reintegration and QOL (of survivors and caregivers), respectively. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Spearman rank, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests at alpha level of 0.05.; Results: The mean stroke survivors' community reintegration and QOL were 34.05 ± 21.54% and 34.93 ± 16 ± 49%, respectively. The mean caregivers' QOL and burden scores were 74.49 ± 12.61% and 9.13 ± 3.18, respectively. About 80.5% of the caregivers experienced significant burden. Stroke survivors' QOL and community reintegration, and caregivers' QOL and burden significantly correlated with one another (p < 0.05). Poststroke duration, survivor-caregiver cohabitation duration, survivors' community-dwelling duration and daily care-giving hours significantly correlated with each of stroke survivors' community reintegration and QOL, and caregivers' burden and QOL (p < 0.05).; Conclusions: Stroke survivors' community reintegration and QOL were poor while caregivers' had moderate QOL and high prevalence of significant burden. Significant correlations exist between caregivers' well-being and stroke survivors' QOL and community reintegration. Interventions targeted at reducing caregivers' burden may help improve both caregivers and survivors' well-being.
Background: Globally, one-third of the 15 million people with stroke suffer permanent physical, cognitive, and emotional impairment. Because of traditional Chinese culture and the limited development of the primary healthcare system, most stroke survivors are cared for and live with their family after hospital discharge. However, previous literature shows a lack of qualitative studies on family caregivers' experience of caring for their relatives in China.; Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the experience of family caregivers taking care of stroke survivors in China.; Methods: An explorative design was used wherein qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with family caregivers in China. Family caregivers were selected from one city and three communities using a purposive sampling method until no new data were generated (n = 26). A thematic analysis was used for the data analysis in this study.; Findings: Family caregivers' experience was described as living on the edge, which pulled their lives in multiple directions, created an unstable situation, and reduced their well-being and health. The participants believed they had total responsibility and felt that this was expected from both themselves and society. Little external understanding and insufficient support was emphasised, resulting in the caregivers feeling all alone, drained by caring, and like prisoners in their own lives. The family caregivers had to face all of the family events and make all of the decisions by themselves. They expressed love for their family members with stroke, but this was often overshadowed by feelings of sadness, depression, sensitivity, and anger. This resulted in an inability to see how things could improve and in the family caregivers being uncertain about the future.; Conclusion: All of these findings increased understanding and added knowledge of this topic that has been seldom studied in China. Healthcare authorities and professionals should recognise and understand the lives and situations of family caregivers since their relatives had a stroke to further identify their difficulties and needs. Appropriate and effective support, both from government and society, should be planned and implemented for family caregivers to relieve them from caring for their relatives with stroke and maintaining the quality of their own lives.
Background: Care for stroke patients at home is a very complicated and tough activity.; Objective: The study was conducted to examine the effect of patient care education on burden of care and quality of life of caregivers of stroke patients.; Materials and methods: The study was an educational trial conducted on 100 caregivers of the stroke patients in Al-Zahra educational hospital, Isfahan, Iran. The intervention group received some training to empower caregivers in family-oriented care in form of an educational counseling program. Data were collected and analyzed using the questionnaires, including demographic, quality of life Short Form-36, and Zarit burden of care questionnaires.; Results: The mean ages of caregivers were 48.52 years in the intervention and 45.14 years in the control groups. The results indicated significant differences in mean of quality of life and burden of care in the caregivers of the intervention group after intervention (P<0.01), which was insignificant in the control group. The average burden on the caregivers of both groups was significantly associated with health status, economic status, marital status, the number of children, care hours, care days, and familial relationship of the caregivers with the patients (P<0.01) before intervention. In addition, quality of life of both groups was significantly related to their health status (P<0.01) before intervention.; Conclusion: Patient care education reduced the burden of care and improved quality of life of the caregivers of stroke patients. Thus, to reduce the complications of caring for stroke patients, family education should be the priority of nursing and discharging procedures.
For patients, the social and emotional repercussions of stroke include shame, personality changes, and upheavals experienced by the couple (i.e. patient and main family caregiver). These impacts on the couple ‘patient/family caregiver’ are scarcely documented. Focusing on the perceptions of the patients and the family caregivers living at home, two years after a stroke occurrence, the aims of the study were to analyse the concordance of attitudes towards the emotional and social repercussions of stroke and to determine the profiles of the differing dyads. Two researchers conducted separate face-to-face structured interviews with stroke survivors and their family caregivers. Eleven items, identified through a content analysis of interviews and after a qualitative process of generating questionnaire items, assessed the commonly experienced impact of stroke on the family, the social repercussions of stroke, and its emotional effects on the stroke survivors. The kappa concordance coefficient was used to determine the response convergence between patients and family caregivers. Four items, selected by a panel of experts, were included in logistic regressions (i.e., demographic characteristics and patients’ impaired functions) to identify the differing dyadic profiles. Family caregivers’ and patients’ attitudes towards the social repercussions of stroke were similar. Patients with motor deficiencies tended to underestimate the upheaval brought to their couple by stroke, whereas caregivers of language-impaired patients tended to underestimate their feelings of shame and demeaning. Communication disturbances, but also residual physical disabilities in stroke survivors, may affect the understanding of each other’s attitudes within dyads. In order to avoid dysfunctional relationships between family caregivers and patients, healthcare professionals need to pay special attention to this issue, especially in cases of aphasia and motor deficiencies.
Stroke is sudden and often traumatic with results that affect both the patient and family members who provide care. Approximately 40% of individuals caring for family members/friends are male. Transitioning from the noncaregiver role to caregiver can be unsettling. Guided by Friedemann's framework of systemic organization, this secondary data analysis examined problems reported by men caring for spouses in the first year after stroke. Using a mixed methods design, 73 caregivers (CGs) participated in bimonthly telephone interviews for 1 year. For this analysis, only the males caring for spouses (n = 12 married and n = 1 unmarried partner) were examined. These data were analyzed using Colaizzi's rigorous method of content analysis. Five problem themes emerged: 1) adjusting to multitasking in everyday living (Friedemann's system maintenance and individuation), 2) recognizing physical and mental disabilities (coherence), 3) dealing with outside forces and limited resources (individuation), 4) struggling to return to normal (system maintenance), and 5) feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted (system maintenance). These problem themes demonstrated incongruence as the men sought to maintain their prior lives. Theory-based themes of male stroke CGs' problems were uncovered that can be used to target interventions to help them achieve balance between incongruence and congruence in their lives.
Background: Training family carers to provide evidence-based rehabilitation to stroke patients could address the recognized deficiency of access to stroke rehabilitation in low-resource settings. However, our randomized controlled trial in India (ATTEND) found that this model of care was not superior to usual care alone. Aims: This process evaluation aimed to better understand trial outcomes through assessing trial implementation and exploring patients’, carers’, and providers’ perspectives. Methods: Our mixed methods study included process, healthcare use data and patient demographics from all sites; observations and semi-structured interviews with participants (22 patients, 22 carers, and 28 health providers) from six sampled sites. Results: Intervention fidelity and adherence to the trial protocol was high across the 14 sites; however, early supported discharge (an intervention component) was not implemented. Within both randomized groups, some form of rehabilitation was widely accessed. ATTEND stroke coordinators provided counseling and perceived that sustaining patients’ motivation to continue with rehabilitation in the face of significant emotional and financial stress as a key challenge. The intervention was perceived as an acceptable community-based package with education as an important component in raising the poor awareness of stroke. Many participants viewed family-led rehabilitation as a necessary model of care for poor and rural populations who could not access rehabilitation. Conclusion: Difficulty in sustaining patient and carer motivation for rehabilitation without ongoing support, and greater than anticipated access to routine rehabilitation may explain the lack of benefit in the trial. Nonetheless, family-led rehabilitation was seen as a concept worthy of further development.
Background: Stroke is a life-changing event for both stroke survivors and their family caregivers. After receiving acute care at the hospital, family members are expected to take care of stroke survivors at home and to continue treatment and rehabilitation. The new role of "informal caregiver" is a challenge that creates many difficulties for family caregivers that are not explicit in the Sri Lankan context.; Objectives: This study aimed at exploring family caregivers' experiences of providing informal care for dependent stroke survivors.; Methods: The sample was chosen by purposive sampling with a maximum variation by age, ethnicity, religion, educational level, relationship, and monthly income. Ten informal family caregivers to stroke survivors with hemiplegia who had been treated at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka participated in in-depth interviews analyzed using conventional content analysis.; Results: Qualitative content analysis of data resulted in an overriding theme, "Caring with love, against all odds," along with four categories, "Life alterations," "Lack of resources," "Compassionate care," and "Coping strategies." Although the increased workload, restricted social life, physical problems, and knowledge and financial deficits were challenging for the family caregivers, self-strength and supportive social networks helped them to compassionately care for their stroke survivor.; Conclusions: The phenomenon of family caregivers providing informal care for stroke survivors was explicated as compassionate care, notwithstanding numerous difficulties. The findings motivate further research and strategies to minimize family caregivers' burden and facilitate the positive aspects of caregiving to promote the health and well-being of both stroke survivors and their families.
Purpose: Caregiver-mediated exercises are a novel way of delivering augmented exercise therapy for patients with stroke, in which patients do additional therapeutic exercises together with a caregiver. This explorative qualitative study is part of the CARE4STROKE trial and focused on how participants manage these exercises together. The research questions were: (1) how do the patient-caregiver couples exercise together? and (2) what does exercising together bring about, besides more hours of practice?; Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients and caregivers who participated in the CARE4STROKE intervention. Inductive thematic data analysis was applied.; Results: Seven patients and seven caregivers were interviewed. Three different role-dynamics were found during caregiver-mediated exercises: (1) patient in control, (2) in concert, and (3) the caregiver as informal carer. In addition, three themes were identified about what exercising together brings about: (a) tailor-made exercises through active involvement, (b) preparation for the home situation, and (c) opportunity to be involved.; Conclusion: Different role-dynamics are at play in caregiver-mediated exercises, and it is important for participating staff to be aware of their possible effects on the strain of patient or caregiver. Caregiver-mediated exercises were found to enhance individualization of the treatment plan and preparation for home discharge. Implications for rehabilitation Caregiver-mediated exercises, in which a caregiver does exercises with a patient, are currently under investigation as a new form of augmented exercise delivery after stroke Doing exercises together seems to make patient and caregivers actively involved in rehabilitation, which they appreciate, and which seems to help them prepare for the home situation Caregiver selection and monitoring role-dynamics during exercising is an important task of the rehabilitation team.
Social interactions play an important role in people’s life and people’s health but their scope and intensity tend to decrease with age, challenging social support dynamics and increasing the risk of social isolation and helplessness. In Portugal, policymakers still seem to rely on traditional social relations in eldercare, while contextual changes and trends are redefining family roles and behaviors and defying the established social support structure. In this work, we aim to examine the scope, structure and experiences of the informal social support network available in the country for stroke patients 6 months after their discharge from the acute care unit in the context of a larger study. The results seem to confirm the importance of family as a source of social support and shed light on different bonding experiences with non-kin social groups, such as neighbors and friends. A coordinated care provision, combining formal and informal support is vital and beneficial for patients, their caregivers and the care system.
Background: Stroke is the second leading cause of disability in Madagascar, half of those affected are <50. All treatment must be paid for; however, 92% live on <2€/day, so informal caregivers are very important. Method: In 2017, 15 caregivers of stroke survivors were interviewed by a medical student, in the rehabilitation department of the university hospital in Antananarivo, Madagascar. A semi-structured interview guide was devised exploring their understanding of stroke, assistance in activities of daily living (ADL) (using visual cues), and care burden (based on caregiver burden tools). Audio recordings and notes were analysed using thematic analysis. Results/Findings: Caregivers often lacked understanding on preventing stroke recurrence and the extent of possible recovery. Care burden was considerable, including impact on own well-being and finances, and caregivers felt that they had little access to specialized equipment or help. Participants were desperate for information regarding stroke care and recovery; this may have influenced how they approached the interviewer, as a potential information source, and therefore not been as critical of the health service. Discussion: These findings are similar to other literature on stroke survivors and caregivers in high- and middle-income countries; no literature was found in low-income countries. Limitations to this study include that a high-income group were interviewed and a translator was used. There are no occupational therapists in Madagascar, which limits the exploration of their potential benefit. Conclusion: This study is the first to explore the needs of caregivers of stroke survivors in Madagascar, the findings of which can help to inform future work in low-income countries on stroke carers.
Background: Caregivers are often unprepared and overwhelmed with the responsibilities of providing care to stroke survivors, which can lead to negative physical and psychological effects.; Purpose: To evaluate the impact of the Family Informal Caregiver Stroke Self-Management (FICSS) program on burden and life changes resulting from providing care among family caregivers of stroke survivors.; Methods: A prospective pre-test and post-test design using quantitative and qualitative data was used to evaluate the program with a convenience sample of 42 caregivers. The four-module facilitated program consisted of small group-guided discussion. Quantitative evaluations were completed at baseline, 2 weeks and 6 months (post-intervention), and qualitative data were collected at 2 weeks and 6 months. Life changes and burden were measured using the Bakas Caregiving Outcome Scale (BCOS) and the Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale (OCBS), respectively.; Results: The BCOS scores increased consistently over time, showing significant differences at 6 months compared with 2 weeks (mean difference: 5.29, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.30-10.28, p=0.04) and baseline (mean difference: 7.58, 95% CI: 2.92-12.23, p=0.001). The OCBS time scores decreased consistently over time, showing a significant difference at 6 months compared with baseline (mean difference: -5.20, 95% CI: -0.96 to -9.44, p=0.02). The OCBS difficulty scores fluctuated over time, resulting in no overall difference from baseline to 6 months. Qualitative themes were consistent with the positive quantitative findings.; Conclusion: Study results suggest that the FICSS program may result in reduced caregiver burden and improved life changes resulting from providing care.
Background/objective: Chronic emotional distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress) is common after stroke and interdependent between patients and their informal caregivers. We measured stroke survivors', caregivers', and neurocritical care nurses' views of primary drivers of distress during the stroke experience, and needs and preferences for the structure, topics, mode of delivery, and timing of an intervention to promote emotional recovery.; Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 patient-caregiver dyads within the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU). Additionally, we conducted two focus groups with 15 nurses. Interviews and focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded using NVivo 11 (QSR International) software.; Results and Conclusions: The challenges and impacts of stroke most commonly reported by dyads were: uncertainty about future health, fear of recurrent strokes, negative emotions, and role changes post-stroke. Dyads and nurses agreed that resiliency skills such as mindfulness/focusing on the present, problem solving, gratitude/optimism, self-care, interpersonal communication and developing a supportive team of family, friends, and medical staff are beneficial to optimize recovery. The potential barrier to intervention delivery was accessibility, due to challenges of time and travel to appointments. Participants agreed that starting the intervention at hospitalization and continuing via live video after discharge is an ideal delivery modality. Stroke survivors, caregivers, and Neuro-ICU nurses believe that a resiliency skills-based intervention to prevent chronic emotional distress is necessary and urgent. This qualitative study provides valuable information on the challenges faced by dyads, intervention topics to prioritize, and strategies to maximize feasibility, acceptability, and effect.
Background: Stroke survivors and family caregivers often have incongruent appraisals of survivor cognitive, physical, and psychosocial function. Partner incongruence contributes to poor outcomes for survivors and caregivers. Objectives: This study explored whether partner incongruence: (1) differs by function domain; (2) increases or decreases over time, and; (3) is associated with self-rated health, distress, stress, and depressive symptoms. Methods: Structured surveys were administered to 32 survivors and caregivers at approximately 3 (enrollment) and 7 months (follow-up) post-stroke. Paired t-tests were used to examine partners' ratings of survivor function at enrollment and follow-up, and changes in incongruence over time. Partial correlations were used to examine the association between incongruence at enrollment and outcomes at follow-up. Results: Survivors consistently rated their own memory and thinking as significantly better than caregivers rated their memory and thinking. At follow-up, survivors rated their own communication as significantly better than caregivers rated their communication. Incongruence about survivor memory and thinking was associated with survivor distress, as well as caregiver distress, stress, and depressive symptoms. Incongruence about survivor ADLs was associated with caregiver stress and depressive symptoms. Incongruence about survivor social participation was associated with caregiver distress. Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that survivors and caregivers often have incongruent appraisals of survivor function, that incongruence does not improve naturally over time, and that incongruence may be detrimental for survivor and caregiver outcomes. Further research should be directed at the mitigation of incongruence and strategies to improve outcomes for both survivors and family caregivers.
Background/Aims: Families require more specialised support to manage behaviours of concern following acquired brain injury within community settings. Evidence supports the involvement of family caregivers in behaviour interventions, however there are no validated behaviour support approaches for individuals with acquired brain injury emphasising family involvement. This research aims to (1) gain insight from rehabilitation professionals and family caregivers on best practice in behaviour support following acquired brain injury in community settings, and (2) obtain feedback on the proposed Family-directed Positive Behaviour Support Programme, which aims to enhance the capability of family caregivers in supporting behavioural changes in an individual following acquired brain injury. Methods: Rehabilitation professionals (n=8) and family caregivers (n=3) completed a three-round Delphi study with the aim of reaching consensus (75% agreement) regarding research objectives. Findings: All items presented regarding best practice in supporting family caregivers with behaviour support reached consensus. Results were used to refine the content and format of delivery of the Family-directed Positive Behaviour Support programme. Conclusions: Findings suggest an agreement regarding what support is needed, yet this is still not being provided. The Delphi process has made significant contribution to the Family-directed Positive Behaviour Support programme, which aims to inform a family-directed approach to behaviour support following acquired brain injury in community settings.
Aim: The majority of caregivers for stroke patients in Malaysia are informal caregivers, although there are no valid tools to measure their knowledge regarding caregiving. Therefore, this study validated the Caregiving Knowledge Questionnaire (CKQ-My) as an assessment of Malaysian stroke caregivers' knowledge regarding patient positioning and feeding. Methods: Back-to-back translation was used to produce a bilingual version of the questionnaire. Hand drawings were used to replace photographs from the original questionnaire. Face validity and content validity were assessed, and construct validity was determined by comparing responses from informal caregivers, medical students, and primary care doctors. Finally, the internal consistencies of the subscales were determined. Results: Pretesting showed that the translated version was sufficiently easy to understand. Internal consistency for the positioning subscale (28 items, Cronbach's α = 0.70) and feeding subscale (15 items, Cronbach's α = 0.70) was good. Mean scores for the positioning subscale for caregivers (mean: 17.1 ± 3.9), medical students (mean: 18.9 ± 3.1), and doctors (mean 21.5 ± 2.2) were significantly different (F = 5.28, P ' = 0.011). Mean scores for the feeding subscale for caregivers (mean 13.1 ± 2.5), medical students (mean 16.1 ± 1.9), and doctors (mean 16.1 ± 2.4) also differed significantly (F = 6.217, P = 0.006). Conclusions: CKQ-My has good internal consistency and construct validity for the subscales measuring stroke caregivers' knowledge about positioning and feeding of stroke patients. It has potential as an assessment of effectiveness of caregiver training and for future studies on long-term stroke outcomes in Malaysia.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the post-stroke care program within the community setting in Thailand. Methods This quasi-experimental study was a nonequivalent control group pre-test and post-test design. A total of 62 pairs of post-stroke patients and their family caregivers were recruited to the study (31 pairs per group). The intervention consisted of a four-week program that included distributing pertinent information, providing skill practice during post-stroke care sessions and utilizing strategies to enhance motivation and behavioral skills of family caregivers based on the information-motivation-behavioral skills model. The family caregivers' post-stroke care skills were evaluated. The patients' activities of daily living (ADLs) and complications were evaluated at baseline and immediately and 2-month post-intervention. Statistical analysis included chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, independent t-test, and two-way repeated measures' analysis of variance. Results After participating in the program, family caregivers in the experimental group significantly improved their post-stroke care knowledge and skills as compared to those in the control group (F = 585.81,p< .001). ADLs among post-stroke patients in the experimental group significantly increased over time and were higher than those in the control group (F = 46.01,p< .001). Moreover, complications among patients in the experimental group were less than those in the control group. Conclusions The post-stroke care program improved family caregivers' post-stroke care skills which resulted in improved functional status and decreased complications among post-stroke patients.
The strain inherent in caregiving relationships between adult children and aging parents is a prominent issue in contemporary China due to a combination of demographic and socioeconomic changes. The purpose of this study was to explore how mutuality, a positive quality of caregiving relationships, contributes to the physical health and mental health (health-related quality of life [HRQoL]) of adult child caregivers [ACCs] of parent stroke survivors. A cross-sectional correlational study was conducted on a nonproportional quota sample of 126 ACCs, using questionnaires of demographics, the 15-item Mutuality Scale, and the Second Version of the Standard 12-Item Health Survey (SF-12v2). Higher mutuality was found to be correlated with better caregiver physical health and mental health. However, after adjusting for the covariates, mutuality significantly explained 4.6% of the variance of caregiver physical health (β = .22, ΔR 2 = .046, p < .01) but it did not significantly explain the variance of caregiver mental health. Although multiple factors correlate with Chinese family caregivers' HRQoL, this was the first study exploring the impact of caregiver-care receiver dyadic relationships on caregiver HRQoL in mainland China by using a mutuality scale with SF-12v2. Despite the fact that the Chinese tradition of filial piety can facilitate mutuality, socioeconomic changes and legislation that require adult children to care for aging parents appear to create high stress among family caregivers. Higher levels of mutuality contribute to better physical health in Chinese family caregivers. Therefore, culturally appropriate family nursing strategies and social policies in China could enhance caregiver mutuality and potentially promote their HRQoL, in particular physical health.
Background: Stroke is one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses worldwide. Family caregivers can make a significant contribution toward patients' recovery. However, the patient's functional deficits and the caregiver's mood states can impact the caregiver's motivation to engage in empathic responses toward patients. Clinicians need help in recognizing patients at risk for not receiving empathic responses from family caregivers who are pivotal in long-term help and emotional support. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine possible associations of family caregiver perceptions of functional deficits of patients who are poststroke and caregiver mood states with their empathic responses toward patients who are poststroke. Methodology: As guided by Davis' organizational model on empathy, we conducted a correlational descriptive study of associations among patient functional deficits, caregiver mood states, and caregiver empathic responses toward patients who are poststroke. Participants were requested to complete four questionnaires. Results: Caregiver fatigue was the only mood state significantly associated with their empathic responses toward patients who are poststroke. Conclusions: The results of the current study contribute to the current state of the literature on poststroke care at home by highlighting the impact of caregiver mood states, particularly caregiver fatigue, on their empathic responses toward patients who are poststroke. Recommendations for clinical practice and future studies were made based on this study's results.
Aim: The purpose of this phenomenological study is to contribute to the literature surrounding caregivers of persons with stroke and to understand the caregivers' perspective on leisure participation and quality of life. Methods: Caregivers (n = 4) of clients with 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 included open-ended questions about the participant's leisure participation and quality of life. Recorded data was transcribed and in-vivo coding was completed. Results: Eight categories were developed from the identified codes and narrowed into primary themes: role shift, loss of control, and occupational deprivation, consistent with Moustakas (1994) as adapted by Creswell (2013). Conclusions: Understanding the essence 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.
Most research on stroke's impact on couples has focused on the transition to caregiving/receiving. Despite considerable evidence that marriage is the primary source of support in the face of chronic conditions, little is known about what happens to marriage in the context of care after stroke. To address this gap, we undertook a qualitative grounded-theory study of 18 couples in which one partner had experienced a stroke. Findings revealed two interrelated themes of the couple processes: working out care, which involved discovering and addressing disruptions in day-to-day activities; and rethinking marriage, which involved determining the meaning of their relationship within the new context of care and disability. Three distinct types of marriages evolved from these processes: reconfirmed around their pre-stroke marriage; recalibrated around care; and a parallel relationship, "his" and "her" marriage. Our findings highlight the need to consider relationship dynamics in addition to knowledge about stroke and care.
This article examines the process of training informal carers on stroke units using the lens of power. Care is usually assumed as a kinship obligation but the state has long had an interest in framing the carer and caring work. Training carers in healthcare settings raises questions about the power of the state and healthcare professionals as its agents to shape expectations and practices related to the caring role. Drawing on Foucault's notion of disciplinary power, we show how disciplinary forms of power exercised in interactions between healthcare professionals and carers shape the engagement and resistance of carers in the process of training. Interview and observational field note extracts are drawn from a multi-sited study of a training programme on stroke units targeting family carers of people with stroke to consider the consequences of subjecting caring to this intervention. We found that the process of training informal carers on stroke units was not simply a matter of transferring skills from professional to lay person, but entailed disciplinary forms of power intended to shape the conduct of the carer. We interrogate the extent to which a specific kind of carer is produced through such an approach, and the wider implications for the participation of carers in training in healthcare settings and the empowerment of carers.
Aim To longitudinally describe stroke caregivers’ quality of life, anxiety, depression and burden and to identify predictors of stroke caregivers’ quality of life, anxiety, depression and burden. Background Caregivers have a key role in stroke survivor care and the first year of caregiving is the most challenging. To give tailored interventions, it is important to capture changes and identify predictors of caregiver quality of life, anxiety, depression and burden during the first year. Design A 12‐month longitudinal study. Data were collected between June 2013–May 2016. Methods Changes in stroke caregiver quality of life, anxiety and depression and burden and their predictors were identified using linear mixed‐effects models. Results The caregivers (N = 244) were 53 years old and mostly female. Caregiver quality of life did not change significantly over the 12 months, anxiety and depression decreased up to 9 months and caregiver burden decreased from baseline to 3 months, then increased up to 9 months. Higher caregiver quality of life was predicted by caregiver younger age, higher education, living with a stroke survivor, survivor older age and higher physical functioning; higher anxiety and depression were predicted by older caregiver age and younger survivor age; higher burden was predicted by caregiver male gender, the caregiver not living with survivor and survivor lower physical functioning. Conclusion The first 9 months of caregiving are particularly problematic for caregivers. The trajectories of the above variables and their predictors may be useful for policy makers, clinicians, investigators and educators to give better care to stroke caregivers and their survivors.
Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified 8‐week reminiscence therapy on the burden, positive experience, and life satisfaction of older spouse caregivers and the life satisfaction of stroke survivors. Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial by using 75 older stroke couples recruited from communities in Zhengzhou, China. We randomly assigned participants to 1 of 3 groups: Group 1 (G1, 25 couples, all attend intervention) and Group 2 (G2, 22 couples, only caregivers attend intervention), who participated in a modified 8‐week reminiscence therapy, and a waiting list (control) group (G3, 28 couples). Interviewers blinded to treatment group assignment administered the life satisfaction to both stroke survivors and caregivers, caregiver burden, and positive experience for caregivers, at preintervention, immediately postintervention, and at 1 month and 3 months after cessation of the intervention. Results: We found a statistically significant interaction between treatment groups and assessment time points for the 4 outcome measures (P < .001). Although the effects were decreased after intervention at 1 month, the improvement in caregivers' positive experience, life satisfaction, burden, and life satisfaction of stroke survivors were still significant (P < .001). Conclusions: The use of a modified 8‐week reminiscence therapy in this study sample improved the life satisfaction of stroke survivors and their spouse caregivers, improved the positive experience of caregivers, and decreased the burden of caregivers.
Objective To delineate positive aspects of caregiving trajectories among family caregivers of stroke-survivors and determine the impact of stroke-survivor disability, a time-varying factor, on the delineated trajectories. Methods In a longitudinal study, family caregivers of 173 stroke-survivors in Singapore were administered the Positive Aspects of Caregiving scale (PAC scale) thrice (baseline/3 months/6 months). Group-based trajectory modeling delineated positive aspects of caregiving trajectories and identified the impact of stroke-survivor disability on the trajectories. Results Two distinct positive aspects of caregiving trajectories, Persistently Low and Persistently High were delineated. Increase in stroke-survivor disability was associated with a significant downward shift (reduction in positive aspects of caregiving) of the Persistently Low trajectory and a significant upward shift (increase in positive aspects of caregiving) of the Persistently High trajectory. Older caregivers were more likely to follow the Persistently High trajectory. Conclusions Care professionals should be mindful of the heterogeneity in the longitudinal pattern of positive feelings resulting from care provision among family caregivers of stroke-survivors, and the differential impact of stroke-survivor disability on the pattern of positive feelings. Younger caregivers as well as family caregivers who have low positive feelings at the start of their caregiver journey and experience worsening functional disability of their care recipient (stroke-survivor) require greater attention and support.
Introduction Stroke events deeply affect not only the stroke survivor but also often the quality of life and physical and psychological health of the family and friends who care for them. There is a need for further information about the unmet needs of these informal carers in order to develop support services and interventions. The primary objective of this review is to report and synthesise the research describing the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors. Methods and analysis A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies that report on the unmet needs of carers will be conducted. The following databases will be searched for relevant articles: MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database and Scopus. No publication date constraints will be applied. Studies will be limited to those published in English and conducted among humans. Eligible studies will report on the unmet needs of informal carers of stroke survivors, defined as family members, friends and other unpaid caregivers. Studies which focus on formal, clinical or medical caregivers will be excluded. A narrative synthesis and pooled analysis of the main outcomes will be reported. Ethics and dissemination This review will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Our findings are expected to provide new insights into the unmet needs of stroke survivors’ carers. Knowledge about the unmet needs of carers will inform the development and refinement of interventions and services to address these needs and better support carers of stroke survivors. The findings of this systematic review will be disseminated publicly and in peer-reviewed journals and may be the topic of research presentations. Trial registration number CRD42017067391.
Background: Family caregivers provide the foundation for long-term home care of stroke survivors. The overwhelming stress associated with caregiving hinders the ability of family caregivers to utilise their internal and external resources to cope with this situation, thereby placing their own health at risk. We conducted a randomised controlled trial of a strength-oriented psychoeducational programme on conventional stroke rehabilitation for family caregivers. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a strength-oriented psychoeducational programme on the caregiving competence, problem-solving coping abilities, caregiver’s depressive symptoms, caregiving burden and resources (family functioning, social support) and physical health (such as caregiving-related injury), as well as potential placement of stroke survivors. Design: A prospective multi-centre and single-blinded randomised controlled trial stratified by survivors’ history of stroke. Setting and participants: Adult stroke patients and their family caregivers were recruited from the medical wards of a regional acute and two rehabilitation hospitals in the Eastern New Territories of Hong Kong. Methods: The design of the trial was based on the relational/problem-solving model. Family caregivers of stroke survivors who had been admitted to the study hospitals completed a set of questionnaires before randomisation, immediately, one- and three-months post-intervention. The control group received usual care, whereas the intervention group received an additional 26-week strength-oriented psychoeducational programme (two structured individual face-to-face pre-discharge education sessions on stroke and its associated caregiving skills and six biweekly post-discharge telephone-based problem-solving coping skills training sessions). Data were analysed using the generalized estimating equation and multiple regression models and chi-square tests. Results: We recruited 128 caregiver–survivor dyads. The intervention group demonstrated significantly greater improvements throughout the study (p < 0.01) in terms of caregiving competence, problem-solving coping abilities and social support satisfaction. This group also displayed significantly greater improvements in terms of family functioning (p < 0.05) at one-month post-intervention, an increased number of social support (p < 0.001) and a lower level of burden at three-month post-intervention. However, there was no significant effect on enabling stroke survivors to remain in their home. Post-hoc analysis showed a significant and indirect effect of problem-solving coping abilities, which suggested its mediating effect on caregiving competence of stroke caregivers. Conclusions: Findings suggest that incorporating a strength-oriented psychoeducational programme into the existing stroke rehabilitation protocol can foster a healthy transition to caregiving among family members of stroke survivors.
Meaning plays an important role in stroke family caregiving. Understanding meaning facilitates the development of effective interventions that support stroke family caregivers. However, knowledge about this subject is fragmented and sparse. This review fills this knowledge gap by examining existing findings regarding meanings in stroke family caregiving. Specifically, a search of seven databases and a manual search produced a total of five articles for review. Embedded in the lived experience of caregivers, meanings in stroke family caregiving were interpreted as a physical, psychological, and social suffering: an obligation resulting from moral ethics, religion doctrines, others' expectations, and social norms and a subjective choice based on love, hope, and a sense of reciprocity. However, the detailed process of how and when caregivers identify meaning in caregiving needs further exploration. To gain a full picture of meaning in caregiving, more studies should be conducted among stroke family caregivers from different cultural, economic, and social backgrounds.
This study aimed to identify the experiences and outcomes of participation in Families4Families Inc., a peer support network for families following acquired brain injury (ABI) in South Australia. Prior to the programme's launch in January 2013, new members of the network were invited to participate in pre- and post-programme phone interviews to identify benefits and limitations of the programme, and identify outcomes of participation. Fifty-five members (20 people with ABI 35 caregivers) participated in pre-programme interviews, with 34 repeating the final interview at the end of the 18-month pilot programme in June 2014. Interview transcripts were imported into Nvivo 10, where comments were analysed using inductive data-driven thematic analysis. Responses to rating questions were analysed using SPSS 20. Attendance records indicate that 39 of 55 participants were involved in the programme (12 active, 27 occasional) and 16 participants did not attend. Active attenders reported that they provided and received higher levels of support and information than those who attended only occasionally, including the significantly higher development of new friendships and contacts (P < 0.001). Statistically significant improvements in knowledge of services by both active and occasional attenders were reported (P = 0.014 and 0.026 respectively) with non-significant improvements for non-attenders. Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts revealed three major thematic benefits of involvement. These include the opportunity to access information, receive emotional support and give back to others in the network. Reasons for no longer participating in the network are explored. Peer support programmes can enable families to share experiences, knowledge, positive coping strategies, understanding of systems and develop new social networks that last beyond the programme. The continuing need for extended regional access is highlighted, with follow-up and referral to counselling and other services also critical to ensure members are appropriately supported through difficult personal experiences.
Objectives: Stroke is a major global disease that requires extensive care and support from society and relatives. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the long‐term informal support and to estimate the annual cost of informal support provided by spouses to their stroke surviving partner. Method: Data were based on the 7‐year follow‐up of the Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke. One‐third of the spouses stated that they provided support to their stroke surviving partner. The magnitude of the support was assessed with a study‐specific time‐diary and was estimated for independent and dependent stroke survivors based on the scores of the modified Rankin Scale. To deal with skewed data, a two‐part econometric model was used to estimate the annual cost of informal support. Result: Cohabitant dyads of 221 stroke survivors aged <70 at stroke onset were included in the study. Spouses of independent stroke survivors (n = 188) provided on average 0.15 hr/day of practical support and 0.48 hr/day of being available. Corresponding figures for spouses of dependent stroke survivors (n = 33) were 5.00 regarding practical support and 9.51 regarding being available. The mean annual cost of informal support provided for independent stroke survivors was estimated at €991 and €25,127 for dependent stroke survivor. Conclusion: The opportunity cost of informal support provided to dependent midlife stroke survivors is of a major magnitude many years after stroke onset and should be considered in economic evaluations of health care.
Background: Healthcare interventions that have positive effects on the stroke survivors’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) might also have positive effects for their spouses in terms of improved HRQoL and/or reduced spousal informal support. However, knowledge about stroke survivors’ HRQoL and QALY and the consequences for their spouses’ HRQoL and QALY is limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the HRQoL and QALY-weights in dyads of stroke survivors in comparison with dyads of healthy controls, and to study the relationship between the stroke survivors’ QALY-weights and consequences for spouses in terms of QALY-weight and annual cost of informal support, using a long-term perspective.
Methods: Data on stroke survivors, controls, and spouses were collected from the seven-year follow-up of the Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke (SAHLSIS). HRQoL was assessed by the SF-36, and the preference-based health state values were assessed with the SF-6D. The magnitude of the support was assessed with a study specific time-diary. An ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was used to estimate the association between stroke survivors’ and spouses’ QALY-weights. A two-part econometric model was used to estimate the association between stroke survivors’ QALY-weights and the time spent and cost of spouses’ informal support.
Results: Cohabitant dyads of 248 stroke survivors’ aged <70 at stroke onset and 245 controls were included in the study. Stroke survivors had lower HRQoL in the SF-36 domains physical functioning, physical role, general health, vitality (P < 0.001), and social functioning (P = 0.005) in comparison with their cohabitant spouses. There was no significant difference in HRQoL for the dyads of controls. The results from the regression analyses showed that lower QALY-weights of the stroke survivors were associated with lower QALY-weights of their spouses and increased annual cost of spousal informal support.
Conclusion: Our results show that the QALY-weights for stroke survivors had consequences for their spouses in terms of annual cost of spousal informal support and QALY-weights. Hence, economic evaluation of interventions that improve the HRQoL of the stroke survivors but ignore the consequences for their spouses may underestimate the value of the intervention.
Background: Stroke is among the major causes of short- and long-term disability. This study aimed to understand the caregivers (CGs) stress in stroke survivors. Materials and Methods: A 22-item questionnaire was administered to 201 CGs of stroke survivors. The variables tested were physical and mental health, social support, financial, and personal problems. CGs were divided into Group A (Barthel index [BI] <75) and B (BI >75) according to patient's BI, according to gender (male and female CG) and relation; spouses (wife, husband), daughters, sons, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and rest (father, mother, brother, sister, and in-laws). Data were analyzed using SPSS software version–21. Data were analyzed to determine which variables of the patient effects the CG stress. Results: Majority of the CGs (74.62%) were females. 65% of CGs graded their burden as moderate to severe. 81% of CGs had left their work for caregiving. More than half of the CGs felt sleep disturbance and physical strain. Psychological instability and financial burdens were reported in 3/4th of CGs. Group A CGs faced more sleep, financial, health, and social life disturbance. Patient's bladder and bowel problems, shoulder pain, patients noncooperative attitude for medication administration, and physiotherapy were more upsetting for Group A CGs. Female CGs were subjected to more sleep disturbance, physical and psychological stress, faced more difficulty regarding the patient's bladder, bowel, personal hygiene needs, and physiotherapy. Female CGs felt less motivated in caregiving than male CGs. Wives and daughters-in-law experienced more burden. Time spent and burden perceived was more by female CGs (χ2 = 15.199, P = 0.002) than males (χ2 = 11.931, P = 0.018); wives and daughters than other relations (χ2 = 32.184, P = 0.000), (χ2 = 35.162, P = 0.019). Conclusion: Our study showed that caregiving burden was predominantly shouldered by females CGs. CGs faced physical, psychological, and socioeconomic burden. The burden was more evident in female CGs and in patients with severe stroke.
Purpose: As the population ages, older adults are more often living with functional limitations from chronic illnesses, such as stroke, and require assistance. Because stroke occurs suddenly, many stroke family caregivers in the United States are unprepared to assume caregiving responsibilities post-discharge. Research is limited on how family members become ready to assume the caregiving role. In this study, we developed a theoretical model for improving stroke caregiver readiness and identifying gaps in caregiver preparation. Design and Methods: We interviewed 40 stroke family caregivers caring for 33 stroke survivors during inpatient rehabilitation and within 6 months post-discharge for this grounded theory study. Data were analyzed using dimensional analysis and constant comparative techniques. Results: Caregivers identified critical areas where they felt unprepared to assume the caregiving role after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Steps to improve preparation include (a) conducting a risk assessment of the patient and caregiver; (b) identifying and prioritizing gaps between the patient’s needs and caregiver’s commitment and capacity; and (c) developing a plan for improving caregiver readiness. Implications: The model presented provides a family-centered approach for identifying needs and facilitating caregiver preparation. Given recent focus on improving care coordination, care transitions, and patient-centered care to help improve patient safety and reduce readmissions in this population, this research provides a new approach to enhance these outcomes among stroke survivors with family caregivers.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in China, frequently resulting in the need for informal care. No information, however, is available on costs of informal care associated with stroke, required to understand the true cost of stroke in China. Using the 2011 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, we identified 4447 respondents aged ≥65 years suitable for analyses, including 184 stroke survivors. We estimated the economic burden of informal care associated with stroke using a two-part model. The monthly number of hours of informal caregiving associated with stroke was 29.2 h/stroke survivor, and the average annual cost of informal care associated with stroke was 10,612 RMB per stroke survivor. The findings stress the necessity of proper interventions to prevent stroke and will be useful for estimating the economic burden of stroke.
Objective: Stroke does not only affect the physical state of patients but also the emotional state of their relatives, most effectively their caregivers. The study aims to examine the mood of caregivers experienced with care for patients with stroke who are highly dependent on the assistance and also to establish the relationship between the emotional state of caregivers and the severity of disability of the patients.
Methods: This study contained a total of 76 patients with sufficient cognitive functions and severe physical disabilities with hemiplegia caused by a cerebrovascular accident and their caregivers and 94 controls. The functional state of patients was assessed by the Barthel Index (BI). Furthermore, emotional state of the caregivers was assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and their life quality was assessed by the SF36 Health Survey.
Results: The mean anxiety (9.73 ± 4.88) and depression rates (9.81 ± 5.05) in the caregivers were significantly higher than those in controls (p<0.001, respectively). Significant impairments were observed in both their mental and physical health. Regression analysis also showed a significant negative correlation between the BI scores and the HADS scores.
Conclusion: Caregivers had an impaired emotional state and the level of their anxiety was associated with the severity of functional disability of the patients. Therefore, the support provided to the caregiver might be influential on the functional recovery of the patients.
Background: Modern therapeutics and health care improvements prolong stroke patients’ survival however, the degree of disability remains high. Stroke survivors often require caregivers, particularly in the first year after the onset of the stroke. Longitudinal assessment of and factors associated with caregiver burden (CGB) among caregivers of stroke patients has been scarcely discussed. This study aimed to define the changes in CGB in the first year of caregiving among the caregivers of stroke patients and to identify associated factors. Methods: A prospective, multi-centered observational study was conducted in nine public hospitals in Mongolia. We used the Montgomery CGB Scale for assessing CGB, and repeated the assessment after 1 year. Stroke patient characteristics were included in the analyses. Multinomial logistic regressions were conducted to analyze changes in CGB. Results: A paired t-test analysis revealed that demand burden increased (from 12.61 to 11.50, p = 0.034), whereas stress burden decreased (from 10.69 to 11.60, p = 0.016). Although objective burden decreased, the difference was not significant. Factors associated with these changes in CGB were the caregiver’s marital status, the caregiver’s relationship with the patient, financial difficulties, and the patient’s sex and dependency. Discussion: The information on factors predicting changes in CGB in the first year of caregiving provided in this study suggests that social or financial support can assist in reducing CGB among the caregivers of post-stroke patients.
Background: Stroke is a chronic disease responsible for changes in the functional capacity of the patients. Patient care is usually provided by family caregivers, but with great burden and negative impact on their quality of life.
Objectives: (1) To investigate whether a correlation existed between the levels of independence and cognition in stroke patients and the burden and quality of life of their caregivers; (2) to assess whether periods of injury, rehabilitation and care, and age of the stroke patients interfered with these correlations.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional and correlational study that included 60 participants, of which 30 were post-stroke patients and 30 were their caregivers. The data collection instruments were the Mini Mental State Examination and the Functional Independence Measure for the post-stroke participants, and the Zarit Burden Interview Scale and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF, for the caregivers. The Pearson’s product-moment correlation was used for the data analysis.
Results: Independence and cognition showed no correlation with the burden and quality of life of the caregivers. We identified a strong positive correlation between independence and cognition (r = 0.882), and a moderate negative correlation between independence and rehabilitation period (r = −0.398) and between burden and quality of life of the caregivers (r = −0.414). Conclusions: Our data suggest the need for health interventions aimed not only at stroke patients, but also at their family caregivers, given the association between the burden and the low levels of quality of life of the caregivers.
Objectives: Health and social care services are increasingly reliant on informal caregivers to provide long-term support to stroke survivors. However, caregiving is associated with elevated levels of depression and anxiety in the caregiver that may also negatively impact stroke survivor recovery. This qualitative study aims to understand the specific difficulties experienced by caregivers experiencing elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression.; Methods: Nineteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with caregivers experiencing elevated levels of depression and anxiety, with a thematic analysis approach adopted for analysis.; Results: Analysis revealed three main themes: Difficulties adapting to the caring role; Uncertainty; and Lack of support.; Conclusions: Caregivers experienced significant difficulties adapting to changes and losses associated with becoming a caregiver, such as giving up roles and goals of importance and value. Such difficulties persisted into the long-term and were coupled with feelings of hopelessness and worry. Difficulties were further exacerbated by social isolation, lack of information and poor long-term health and social care support.; Clinical Implications: A greater understanding of difficulties experienced by depressed and anxious caregivers may inform the development of psychological support targeting difficulties unique to the caring role. Improving caregiver mental health may also result in health benefits for stroke survivors themselves.
Incorporating user requirements in the design of e-rehabilitation interventions facilitates their implementation. However, insight into requirements for e-rehabilitation after stroke is lacking. This study investigated which user requirements for stroke e-rehabilitation are important to stroke patients, informal caregivers, and health professionals. The methodology consisted of a survey study amongst stroke patients, informal caregivers, and health professionals (physicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists). The survey consisted of statements about requirements regarding accessibility, usability and content of a comprehensive stroke e-health intervention (4-point Likert scale, 1=unimportant/4=important). The mean with standard deviation was the metric used to determine the importance of requirements. Patients (N=125), informal caregivers (N=43), and health professionals (N=105) completed the survey. The mean score of user requirements regarding accessibility, usability and content for stroke e-rehabilitation was 3.1 for patients, 3.4 for informal caregivers and 3.4 for health professionals. Data showed that a large number of user requirements are important and should be incorporated into the design of stroke e-rehabilitation to facilitate their implementation.
Purpose: This qualitative study explored how stroke survivors' spouses described their own self-management, their partner's self-management post-stroke and how they had been supported in developing self-management.; Method: Focus group interviews were conducted with 33 spouses of stroke survivors 34-79 years of age. A constant comparative framework was used for the analysis.; Result: Stroke also affected the spouses, gave changes in their relationships and challenged in being a caregiver beside being partner. They felt burdened, lonely, sad, and guilty. To manage themselves, many participants created time for themselves. For most spouses, self-management was connoted with co-management because they perceived their partners were not able to manage themselves completely post-stroke. They often felt lost after their partners came home and reported that they learned how to coach their partners post-stroke by trial and error, without much professional support. Moreover, many spouses experienced informal peer support as helpful.; Conclusion: Spouses of stroke survivors should be involved as soon as possible in stroke-rehabilitation and continue at home post-discharge. In addition to enhancing the spouses' skills in caregiving and supporting self-management, stroke survivors' spouses also need support in their own emotional and role management. Moreover, peers can play a role in rehabilitation post-stroke. Implications for Rehabilitation Spouses of stroke survivors should be considered as full participants of stroke-self-management programs to enhance their skills in caregiving and supporting self-management. Stroke survivors' spouses need support in their own emotional and role management. Peer support can play a role in rehabilitation post-stroke for stroke survivors as well as their spouses.
Objectives: To identify the distinct quality of life (QOL) trajectories among stroke survivors, and to evaluate the associations with their caregivers' burden, anxiety, and depression.; Design: This was a longitudinal dyadic study.; Settings: Stroke survivors and their informal caregivers were enrolled upon discharge from several rehabilitation hospitals, and they were followed during this multisite longitudinal study.; Participants: The stroke survivors (N=405, mean age=70.7y) included older adult men (52.0%), most of whom (80.9%) had had ischemic strokes. The caregivers (n=244, mean age=52.7y) included mostly women (65.2%), most of whom were the survivors' children (50.0%) or spouses (36.1%).; Interventions: Not applicable.; Main Outcome Measures: Latent growth mixture modeling was used to identify the distinct QOL trajectories among the stroke survivors over the course of 12 months of recovery. The longitudinal associations between the stroke survivor QOL trajectories and the caregivers' burden, anxiety, and depression were evaluated. A multinomial regression was then used to identify the predictors of the various survivor QOL trajectories.; Results: Three distinct survivor QOL trajectories were identified: high and slightly improving QOL, moderate and slightly worsening QOL, and markedly improving QOL. The caregivers' burden, anxiety, and depression mirrored the survivors' QOL trajectories. In the multinomial models, an older survivor age, hemorrhagic stroke, lower education, and coexisting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or thyroid disease were significantly associated with a moderate and slightly worsening QOL trajectory. Women and blindness were associated with a markedly improving QOL survivor trajectory.; Conclusions: A survivor's QOL trajectory after a stroke was associated with their caregiver's burden, anxiety, and depression. Those survivors belonging to the moderate and slightly worsening QOL trajectory and their caregivers, in particular, need special care, because they are at risk for the worst outcomes.
Objective: To describe and explain stroke survivors and informal caregivers' experiences of primary care and community healthcare services. To offer potential solutions for how negative experiences could be addressed by healthcare services.; Design: Systematic review and meta-ethnography.; Data Sources: Medline, CINAHL, Embase and PsycINFO databases (literature searched until May 2015, published studies ranged from 1996 to 2015).; Eligibility Criteria: Primary qualitative studies focused on adult community-dwelling stroke survivors' and/or informal caregivers' experiences of primary care and/or community healthcare services.; Data Synthesis: A set of common second order constructs (original authors' interpretations of participants' experiences) were identified across the studies and used to develop a novel integrative account of the data (third order constructs). Study quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. Relevance was assessed using Dixon-Woods' criteria.; Results: 51 studies (including 168 stroke survivors and 328 caregivers) were synthesised. We developed three inter-dependent third order constructs: (1) marginalisation of stroke survivors and caregivers by healthcare services, (2) passivity versus proactivity in the relationship between health services and the patient/caregiver dyad, and (3) fluidity of stroke related needs for both patient and caregiver. Issues of continuity of care, limitations in access to services and inadequate information provision drove perceptions of marginalisation and passivity of services for both patients and caregivers. Fluidity was apparent through changing information needs and psychological adaptation to living with long-term consequences of stroke.; Limitations: Potential limitations of qualitative research such as limited generalisability and inability to provide firm answers are offset by the consistency of the findings across a range of countries and healthcare systems.; Conclusions: Stroke survivors and caregivers feel abandoned because they have become marginalised by services and they do not have the knowledge or skills to re-engage. This can be addressed by: (1) increasing stroke specific health literacy by targeted and timely information provision, and (2) improving continuity of care between specialist and generalist services.; Systematic Review Registration Number: PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015026602.
Background and Purpose: The aim of this article was to analyze the likelihood of receiving informal care after a stroke and to study the burden and risk of burnout of primary caregivers in Spain.; Methods: The CONOCES study is an epidemiological, observational, prospective, multicenter study of patients diagnosed with stroke and admitted to a Stroke Unit in the Spanish healthcare system. At 3 and 12 months post-event, we estimated the time spent caring for the patient and the burden borne by primary caregivers. Several multivariate models were applied to estimate the likelihood of receiving informal caregiving, the burden, and the likelihood of caregivers being at a high risk of burnout.; Results: Eighty percent of those still alive at 3 and 12 months poststroke were receiving informal care. More than 40% of those receiving care needed a secondary caregiver at 3 months poststroke. The likelihood of receiving informal care was associated with stroke severity and the individual's health-related quality of life. When informal care was provided, both the burden borne by caregivers and the likelihood of caregivers being at a high risk of burnout was associated with (1) caregiving hours; (2) the patient's health-related quality of life; (3) the severity of the stroke measured at discharge; (4) the patient having atrial fibrillation; and (5) the degree of dependence.; Conclusions: This study reveals the heavy burden borne by the caregivers of stroke survivors. Our analysis also identifies explanatory and predictive variables for the likelihood of receiving informal care, caregiver burden, and high risk of burnout.
Background: Case fatality after total anterior circulation stroke is high. Our objective was to describe the experiences and needs of patients and caregivers, and to explore whether, and how, palliative care should be integrated into stroke care.; Methods: From 3 stroke services in Scotland, we recruited a purposive sample of people with total anterior circulation stroke, and conducted serial, qualitative interviews with them and their informal and professional caregivers at 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year. Interviews were transcribed for thematic and narrative analysis. The Palliative Care Outcome Scale, EuroQol-5D-5L and Caregiver Strain Index questionnaires were completed after interviews. We also conducted a data linkage study of all patients with anterior circulation stroke admitted to the 3 services over 6 months, which included case fatality, place of death and readmissions.; Results: Data linkage (n = 219) showed that 57% of patients with total anterior circulation stroke died within 6 months. The questionnaires recorded that the patients experienced immediate and persistent emotional distress and poor quality of life. We conducted 99 interviews with 34 patients and their informal and professional careers. We identified several major themes. Patients and caregivers faced death or a life not worth living. Those who survived felt grief for a former life. Professionals focused on physical rehabilitation rather than preparation for death or limited recovery. Future planning was challenging. "Palliative care" had connotations of treatment withdrawal and imminent death.; Interpretation: Major stroke brings likelihood of death but little preparation. Realistic planning with patients and informal caregivers should be offered, raising the possibility of death or survival with disability. Practising the principles of palliative care is needed, but the term "palliative care" should be avoided or reframed.
Objective: To assess the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled trial of an instructional and educational stroke DVD and determine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of this intervention in a multinational context.; Design: Non-funded, pilot randomized controlled trial of intervention versus usual care.; Setting: International, multicentre, community-based.; Participants: Community-living adults up to three years post stroke with moderate to severe disability and their nominated informal caregivers.; Interventions: Intervention patients viewed and practised rehabilitation techniques demonstrated in the DVD over six weeks.; Main Measures: Trial feasibility by number of active recruitment sites, recruitment efficiency, randomization and follow-up. Intervention feasibility by patient and caregiver impressions. Preliminary efficacy by the quality of life - 5-level EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) health status measure, General Health Questionnaire and Centre for Epidemiological Studies-Depression at two months.; Results: In total, 14 recruitment sites were established across eight countries. Recruitment was achieved at nine (64%) sites. Over 16 months, 66 participants were recruited (mean (SD) age = 63.5 (12.47) years) and randomized to intervention ( n = 34) and control ( n = 32) groups. In total, 54 (82%) completed a follow-up assessment. Patient and/or caregiver comments about the benefits and barriers to accessing the intervention were mixed. There were no significant between-group differences in outcomes at two months ( P > 0.05).; Conclusion: Conducting a multinational trial of a stroke DVD requires full funding. The intervention was acceptable to some patients and their caregivers, yet a generalized education approach did not fully meet their needs and/or expectations. A more individualized method may be required to meet peoples' changing needs during stroke recovery.
Purpose: Map the literature about valued activities and informal caregiving post stroke and determine the nature, extent, and consequences of caregivers' activity changes.; Methods: A scoping review was undertaken, searching Pubmed, Cinahl, PsycInfo, and Google Scholar. Two researchers independently identified relevant articles, extracted study characteristics and findings, and assigned codes describing the topics and outcomes. Using thematic analysis, the main study topics and study outcomes were described.; Results: The search yielded 662 studies, 30 of which were included. These were mainly qualitative and cross-sectional studies assessing caregivers' activity changes and related factors, or exploring caregivers' feelings, needs and strategies to deal with their activity challenges. Although caregivers often lost their social and leisure activities, which made them feel unhappy and socially isolated, we found no studies about professional interventions to help caregivers maintain their activities. Over the years, caregivers' activity levels generally increased. However, some caregivers suffered from sustained activity loss, which, in turn, relates to depression.; Conclusion: Loss of valued activities is common for stroke caregivers. Although high-level evidence is lacking, our results suggest that sustained activity loss can cause stroke caregivers to experience poor mental health and wellbeing. Suggestions to help caregivers maintain their valued activities are presented. Implications for rehabilitation Not only stroke survivors but also their informal caregivers tend to lose their valued activities, such as their social and leisure activities. Although many caregivers manage to resume their valued activities over time, others suffer from sustained activity loss up to at least two years post stroke. Loss of valued activities in stroke caregivers can result in lower levels of wellbeing, depression, and social isolation. Rehabilitation professionals should screen stroke caregivers for activity loss and assist them in resuming their valued activities and maintaining their social contacts.;
Background: Informal caregivers of post-stroke patients usually undergo high levels of pain and stress and have a reduced quality of life.; Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of two home ergonomic interventions aimed at reducing pain intensity and perceived stress and enhancing the quality of life in informal caregivers of chronic post-stroke patients.; Methods: A randomized single-blind controlled clinical trial was conducted, with a sample of 33 informal caregivers of patients with stroke. Three groups were included: one received postural hygiene training and kinesiotherapy, for 12 weeks, two days a week, one hour per session; another received adaptation of the home environment, and the third was a control group. Pain intensity, stress level and general quality of life were evaluated at three-time points: pre-intervention, post-intervention, and after a follow-up period of three months.; Results: Neck pain decreased in the two experimental groups, and increased in the control group. Pain in the shoulders and knees was alleviated in the group that received postural hygiene and kinesiotherapy. In addition, regarding quality of life, this group obtained an improvement in the physical health dimension, while the home adaptation group reported improved social relationships.; Conclusions: These results suggest that 12 weeks of training in postural hygiene, combined with kinesiotherapy, and home adaptations can reduce pain and improve several aspects of the quality of life of this population. CLINICALTRIALS.; Gov Id: NCT03284580.; Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Purpose The burden of caregiving for stroke survivors is well known, but the effect of late stroke rehabilitation on the life situation of informal caregivers is unknown. Here, we assessed changes in the life situation of informal caregivers of stroke survivors enrolled in a multimodal intervention trial. Methods This controlled study was a questionnaire-based survey accompanying a three-armed randomized controlled trial of 123 stroke survivors. The care recipients of 106 caregivers who chose to participate were assigned to rhythm-and-music-based therapy (R-MT; n = 37), horse-riding therapy (H-RT; n = 37), or delayed intervention (control group, n = 32). Perceived changes in the life situation of the caregivers were evaluated with the Life Situation among Spouses after the Stroke Event (LISS) questionnaire before randomization, after the 12-week intervention, and 3 and 6 months later. Results After the intervention, the change in the median LISS score was significantly higher among intervention caregivers (1.5 [interquartile range (IQR) 8.8]) than controls (1.5 [IQR 8.8] vs. 0.0 [IQR 12.0], p = 0.036). The improvement was maintained at 3 months (1.5 [IQR 9.0] vs. 0.0 [IQR 10.5], p = 0.039) but not at 6 months (p = 0.284). Conclusion Engaging stroke survivors in multimodal interventions late after stroke appears to have potential to produce gains also in the general life situation of informal caregivers.
Aims: This study aimed at evaluating whether training on practical skills involved in providing care reduces the burden experienced by informal caregivers and improves their general health condition.; Background: A substantial number of informal caregivers lack skills to deliver poststroke assistance to older people after hospital discharge, which leads to burden situations as well as mental and physical health deterioration of the former.; Design: A quasi-experimental design.; Methods: This study involved 174 informal caregivers of older people who overcame a stroke. The control group (N = 89) received the usual type of care delivered in healthcare units. The experimental group (N = 85) adopted the InCARE programme for 1 week (T0), 1 month (T1) and 3 (T2) months and received telephone support by counselling caregivers on the subsequent 3rd, 6th, 8th and 10th weeks to hospital discharge. It aimed at facilitating the caregiver's adjustment to the demands of a poststroke stage and at increasing knowledge and practical skills to support the decision-making. Data collection occurred between February-December 2014 at the Community Home Care Services in northern Portugal.; Results: The experimental group obtained significantly better results regarding practical skills as well as lower burden levels and a better general mental health condition when compared with the control group 1 (T1) and 3 (T2) months after intervention.; Conclusion: Findings suggest that our programme improved practical skills, helped reduce burden levels with better scores and improvement regarding general mental health condition of informal caregivers.
Introduction: Reducing length of hospital stay for stroke survivors often creates a shift in the responsibility of care towards informal carers. Adjustment to the caregiving process is experienced by many carers as overwhelming, complex and demanding and can have a detrimental impact on mental and physical health and well-being. National policy guidelines recommend that carers' needs are considered and addressed; despite this, few interventions have been developed and empirically evaluated. We developed a biopsychosocial intervention in collaboration with carers of stroke survivors. Our aim is to determine whether the intervention can be delivered in a group setting and evaluated using a randomised controlled trial (RCT).; Methods and Analysis: Feasibility RCT and nested qualitative interview study. We aim to recruit up to 40 stroke carers within 1 year of the stroke onset. Carers are randomised to usual care or usual care plus biopsychosocial intervention. Each intervention group will consist of five stroke carers. The intervention will focus on: psychoeducation, psychological adjustment to stroke, strategies for reducing unwanted negative thoughts and emotions and problem-solving strategies. The main outcome is the feasibility of conducting an RCT. Carer outcomes at 6 months include: anxiety and depression, quality of life and carer strain. Data are also collected from stroke survivors at baseline and 6 months including: level of disability, anxiety and depression, and quality of life.; Ethics and Dissemination: Favourable ethical opinion was provided by East Midlands - Nottingham2 Research Ethics Committee (14/EMI/1264). This study will determine whether delivery of the biopsychosocial intervention is feasible and acceptable to stroke carers within a group format. It will also determine whether it is feasible to evaluate the effects of the biopsychosocial intervention in an RCT. We will disseminate our findings through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at national and international conferences.; Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN15643456; Pre-results.
Objectives: This study was designed to determine the caregiver-proxy reliability of the Igbo-culture adapted urban version of the Maleka Stroke Community Reintegration Measure (I-MSCRIM).; Methods: This was a validation study involving 74 consenting stroke survivors and their 74 primary informal caregivers consecutively recruited from selected tertiary hospitals in South-East Nigeria (Igboland). The I-MSCRIM was researcher-administered to the participants. Obtained data was analyzed using frequency counts, percentages, range, mean, standard deviation, Spearman rank order correlation, Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis test and Intra-class Correlation Coefficient. Alpha level was set at 0.05.; Results: The mean ages of the stroke survivors (55.4% males) and their primary informal caregivers (41.9% males) were 50.14 ± 12.24 and 31.93 ± 10.9 years respectively. There was no significant difference in the community reintegration (CR) scores as rated by stroke survivors and their primary informal caregivers (p > 0.05). The correlations between stroke survivors' and primary informal caregivers' rated CR scores were all adequate and acceptable (ICC = 0.602-0.917). The discrepancy in the total CR scores between the two ratings was significantly influenced by primary informal caregivers' educational attainment (k = 13.15; p < 0.01).; Conclusion: The I-MSCRIM has acceptable caregiver-proxy reliability among Igbo stroke survivors in South-East Nigeria. This suggests that primary informal caregivers of stroke survivors can reliably estimate the CR of their care recipients when I-MSCRIM is administered to them. This will be useful when a stroke survivor cannot respond to I-MSCRIM.
Objectives: This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study exploring White and British Indian informal stroke carers' experiences of caring, factors contributing to their stress, and strategies used to overcome stress.; Design: A qualitative approach involving in-depth interviews was used to explore informal carers' experiences of caring for stroke survivors and the stress of caring at one and three to six months from the onset of stroke. Interviewers bilingual in English and Gujarati or Punjabi conducted interviews with carers. Socio-demographic data of carers and stroke survivors were collected at one, and three to six months by dedicated stroke research nurses.; Results: A total of 37 interviews with carers caring for stroke survivors with a wide range of physical and mental impairments were completed. A majority of carers had assumed the task of caring within a few weeks of the stroke. Irrespective of ethnicity, carers' emotional and physical well-being was undermined by the uncertainty and unpredictability of caring for stroke survivors, and meeting their expectations and needs. The strain of managing social obligations to care was common to all carers irrespective of gender and ethnicity, but the higher levels of anxiety and depression reported by Indian British female carers appeared to stem from the carers' pre-existing physical ailments, their cultural and religious beliefs, and household arrangements. Carers' strain in extended households was exacerbated by the additional responsibility of caring for other dependent relatives.; Conclusion: Since the role of carers is clearly indispensable in the successful rehabilitation of survivors, it is vital to ensure that their well-being is not undermined by a lack of information and training, and that their need for professional support is prioritised.
Background: Informal care giving can be burdensome particularly where the option of institutionalized informal care scarcely exist.; Objective: To look at the burden of informal caregivers of stroke survivors using the Zarit burden interview (ZBI).; Method: 64 stroke survivors were assessed for demographics of age, gender, duration of follow-up since discharged from in-patient care, modified Rankin score at the time of discharge and at the time of evaluation for this study and the most important informal care giver at home was also assessed for whether care giving was telling on their health or life in any negative way. All the caregivers were subsequently assessed with the ZBI.; Results: Mean age of most important informal care givers was 40.67 ± 14.27 years and the sex distribution was 33(51.6%) female and 29(45.4%) males. 21(32.8%) reported that caregiving was a health burden. Mean ZBI scores were significantly higher (30.19 ± 14.81 vs 20.30 ± 12.96, P < 0.01) in those that reported that caregiving was telling on their health. ZBI overall rating of burden of caregiving was also significantly associated with whether caregiving was telling on the health of caregiver (P = 0.01) and also symmetrically agreed with whether the burden of caregiving was telling on health (k = 0.33, P< 0.01). The sensitivity and specificity of ZBI were 70% and 68.4% respectively on ROC statistics (AUC = 0.67, P = 0.017).; Conclusion: Reported burden of informal caregiving of about 33% is in our opinion huge. The moderate sensitivity and specificity of the ZBI means it could be safely used in the population studied.
Overall satisfaction levels with social care are usually high but lower levels have been reported among black and minority ethnic (BME) service users in England. Reasons for this are poorly understood. This qualitative study therefore explored satisfaction with services among informal carer participants from five different ethnic groups. Fifty-seven carers (black Caribbean, black African, Asian Indian, Asian Pakistani and white British) were recruited from voluntary sector organisations and a local hospital in England, and took part in semi-structured interviews using cognitive interviewing and the critical incident technique. Interviews took place from summer 2013 to spring 2014. Thematic analysis of the interviews showed that participants often struggled to identify specific 'incidents', especially satisfactory ones. When describing satisfactory services, participants talked mostly about specific individuals and relationships. Unsatisfactory experiences centred on services overall. When rating services using cognitive interviewing, explicit comparisons with expectations or experiences with other services were common. Highest satisfaction ratings tended to be justified by positive personal characteristics among practitioners, trust and relationships. Lower level ratings were mostly explained by inconsistency in services, insufficient or poor care. Lowest level ratings were rare. Overall, few differences between ethnic groups were identified, although white British participants rated services higher overall giving more top ratings. White British participants also frequently took a more overall view of services, highlighting some concerns but still giving top ratings, while South Asian carers in particular focused on negative aspects of services. Together these methods provide insight into what participants mean by satisfactory and unsatisfactory services. Cognitive interviewing was more challenging for some BME participants, possibly a reflection of the meaningfulness of the concept of service satisfaction to them. Future research should include comparisons between BME and white participants' understanding of the most positive parts of satisfaction scales and should focus on dissatisfied participants.
Introduction: Caring for stroke survivors may be burdensome with adverse consequences on caregivers' physical health. This study examined the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and associated factors among family caregivers of stroke survivors in Nigeria. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study involving 90 stroke caregiver and stroke survivor dyads was conducted. Data on the participants' demographics and post-stroke duration were obtained. Seven-day prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among the caregivers and level of stroke survivors' disability were respectively assessed using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and Modified Rankin Scale. Prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms was presented as percentages while participants' characteristics associated with prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms were examined using inferential statistics. Results: Mean (SD) age of caregivers and stroke survivors was 33.2 (10.7) years and 58.9 (9.7) years respectively. Majority of the caregivers were females (61.1%), and children of the stroke survivors (58.9%). Prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms was 82.2%. The low back was the most affected body region (72.2%) followed by the upper back (40%) while musculoskeletal symptoms in the wrist was least prevalent (3.3%). Female caregivers, caregivers of female stroke survivors and spousal caregivers had significantly higher prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms compared to other categories of caregivers. Only 5 (5.6%) caregivers had however received any training on safe care giving methods while only 21 (28.4%) caregivers with musculoskeletal symptoms had received treatment. Conclusion: With the high prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among family caregivers of stroke survivors, effective preventive strategies including training and education as well as timely access to treatment would be required.
Objective: To explore the relationships that emerge amongst caregivers of persons with dementia and stroke when caregivers use written messages as their communication tool in a closed information and communication technology (ICT)-based support group. Methods: An explorative design with a qualitative approach was used that applied systematic text condensation (STC) to analyse 173 written messages extracted from a web forum.Results: Empathetic, empowering and familiar relationships emerged amongst peers of older caregivers when the caregivers used written messages as their communication tool. The empathetic relationship was characterised by sincerity and openness when the caregivers shared emotions related to caregiving. The empowering relationship reflected a fellowship based on solidarity influenced by a sense of optimism and a willingness to share knowledge to support one another in overcoming challenges. In the familiar relationship, the caregivers were thoughtful and good-humoured with one another and displayed an attitude of consideration towards one another, as in an extended family. Practice Implication: The use of computer-mediated communication in health care service will change the context of establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Therefore, greater knowledge regarding how the peers of caregivers interact with one another is vital so nurses may better support and educate ICT-based support groups.
Multiple studies have confirmed a seemingly paradoxical finding that family caregivers have lower mortality rates than comparable samples of noncaregivers. Caregivers are often also found to report more symptoms of depression and higher stress levels, but psychological distress and mortality are rarely examined in the same study. This study tests a possible mechanism for the mortality effect by applying a theoretical model that posits psychological and physiological stress-buffering benefits from prosocial helping behaviors. Participants in the population-based REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study included 3,580 family caregivers who were individually matched to 3,580 noncaregivers on 15 demographic, health history, and health behavior variables using a propensity score matching algorithm. Baseline measures of depressive symptoms and perceived stress levels were also collected. The results indicated that caregivers reported significantly more depressive symptoms and higher perceived stress levels than propensity-matched noncaregivers (ps < .0001). However, consistent with our previous analysis (Roth et al., 2013), an analysis of 7-year survival rates showed that caregivers had a 16.5% lower mortality rate than noncaregivers (hazard ratio = 0.835, 95% CI = 0.719, 0.970). Significant caregiving*psychological distress interaction effects supported the stress-buffering hypothesis. Both depressive symptoms and perceived stress scores were significant predictors of mortality for the matched noncaregivers (ps < .0001), but not for the caregivers (ps > .49). Family caregiving appears to be similar to other prosocial helping behaviors in that it provides stress-buffering adaptations that ameliorate the impact of stress on major health outcomes such as mortality. (PsycINFO Database Record
Background: Disability following a stroke often requires family, commonly a spouse, to provide care enabling the stroke survivor to return home. Immediate or extended family and friends may help provide direct care or support the primary caregiver. While family members share the common stroke experience, this is lived within the context of separate lives. Research examining the individual nuances, roles and contribution of family and/or friends forming part of collective stroke networks, has largely been overlooked. Aim: This New Zealand study aimed to explore the lived experience of three stroke family members during the 18 months following a first‐ever stroke. Method: Hermeneutic phenomenology guided the study. Informed consent was obtained prior to individual interviews conducted 6 weeks, 12 months and 18 months poststroke. Findings: Three main themes emerged: (i) Being prepared, (ii) Where you stand changes the view and (iii) Relinquishing and reclaiming. Being prepared revealed how these family members anticipated the stroke and drew on personal and professional experience in facing the phenomenon. The second theme showed the influence of expectation and positionality on family members' experiences. Relinquishing and reclaiming identified loss, grief and a quest for equity in the synthesis of competing stroke survivor and caregiver desires. Conclusions: Familiarity with the caregiving role and experience of unreliable community services led stroke family members to question the primary caregiver's ability to resume caregiving following a family member's stroke. The primary caregiver was physically and emotionally spent, and rest home care for the survivor became the only self‐preserving option. A new caring arrangement was formulated seeking equity for both stroke survivor and caregiver.
Aims and objectives: To identify whether benefit finding is a mediator or moderator in the relationship between caregiver burden and psychological well‐being (anxiety and depression) in Chinese family caregivers of community‐dwelling stroke survivors. Background: Family caregivers not only bear a heavy burden, a high level of anxiety and depression, but also experience benefit finding (positive effects result from stressful events). However, the relationships among benefit finding, caregiver burden and psychological well‐being in Chinese family caregivers are not well known. Design: This study was a cross‐sectional correlational design. Methods: Caregivers (<italic>n</italic> = 145) of stroke survivors were recruited from two communities in Zhengzhou, China. Data were collected by face‐to‐face interviews with structured questionnaires, examining caregiver burden, benefit finding and psychological well‐being of caregivers. A hierarchical regression analysis explored whether caregiver burden and benefit finding were associated with anxiety and depression of caregivers. The moderator role of benefit finding was examined by testing the significance of the interaction between caregiver burden and benefit finding. A mediational model was used to test benefit finding as a mediator between caregiver burden and psychological well‐being of caregivers using process in spss 21.0. Results: Caregiver burden and benefit finding were significantly associated with both anxiety and depression of caregivers. Benefit finding did not portray a moderating role, but portrayed the mediator role in the relationship between caregiver burden, anxiety and depression in caregivers. Conclusion: This study provides the preliminary evidence to nurses that intervention focus on benefit finding may help improve the psychological well‐being of caregivers. Relevance to clinical practice: This study offers nurses rational for assessing caregiver's negative emotions and benefit finding. By targeting benefit finding, the nurse may guide caregivers in benefit identification and implement interventions to reduce anxiety, depression and caregiver burden.
This is the report of a project commissioned by NHS England in support of its Commitment to Carers programme. The focus of the work was to scope exemplar models of support for older carers, and carers of people with dementia (of any age). The project reviewed existing literature and knowledge and used this as the foundation for examining developments with invited third sector organisations using an on-line questionnaire and additional semi-structured interviews. The work took place between May 2017 and March 2018 and included a consultation workshop in February 2018 with NHS England and other key stakeholders to refine messages and conclusions. The report describes the work undertaken and presents an analysis of findings, together with conclusions and recommendations for NHS England.
Background Stroke affects the entire family system. Failure to meet the needs of caregivers leads to physical and mental overburdening. Stroke caregivers may benefit from professional support. The literature reviews have shown that there is still no clarity concerning the most appropriate set-up of a support programme. In Germany, there is no stroke caregiver support programme that operates throughout the course of rehabilitation. Aim The aim was to develop a complex intervention programme for stroke caregivers in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. Methods A naturalistic enquiry approach, using a mixed-methods design, was applied. Within one overarching qualitative study, three separate, explorative, inductive, qualitative substudies were conducted: (i) seven explorative interviews with experienced stroke caregivers, (ii) six semi-structured interviews with professionals working within stroke rehabilitation and (iii) seventeen participant observations with focus on professional-caregiver interactions. Regional stroke units, rehabilitation centres, outpatient services and the home environment of caregivers were included. By means of a four-step qualitative content analysis, all three data sets were coded, categorised and subsequently condensed into subthemes, clustered into main themes, and finally translated into 'Conceptual Building Blocks' of the programme. Results The need for a personalised, holistic and multicomponent caregiver support programme emerged from all three substudies. Fourteen themes were condensed from the subthemes. Caregivers should be approached directly after stroke using outreach counselling. Support should be provided by a specially trained focal person across the entire patient's rehabilitation trajectory. The newly developed support programme consists of five flexible 'Conceptual Building Blocks': Content, Human Resources, Personalised Approach, Timing and Setting. Conclusion Through a qualitative mixed-methods design, an in-depth contextual understanding of stroke caregiver needs within the rehabilitative support system was reached. This allowed the development of a context tailored comprehensive caregiver support programme consisting of five 'Conceptual Building Blocks'.
Background: The permissibility of euthanasia raises many moral dilemmas, dividing the general public on this matter. Attitudes towards euthanasia depend on socio-cultural (age, beliefs) and individual factors (personality traits or working in medical professions). Aim of the study: The aim of the study was to establish attitudes towards euthanasia and the level of anxiety before death among people in close contact with persons suffering from paresis. The hypotheses assumed that contact with disabled patients, who require constant care, and the type of such contact, modify the perceived fear of death and attitudes towards euthanasia. Material and methods: Two clinical groups were involved in the study: physiotherapists dealing with stroke rehabilitation, family caregivers permanently taking care of close relatives of cerebral stroke survivors. The results of the two groups were compared to those of the control group, who were individuals with no personal experience in the care of patients with paresis. Attitudes towards euthanasia were measured in three dimensions: information support, liberal attitudes and conservative attitudes. Results: The results showed no intergroup differences in two dimensions: liberal attitude and the fear of death. Physiotherapists were the least conservative in their attitudes in comparison to other participants and they appreciated the information support more than participants from the control group. Conclusions: The results indicated that everyday contact with the patients suffering from paresis can increase conservative attitudes toward euthanasia but only among caregivers. (English)
Introduction: Stroke causes disability that affects the life of patients, their relatives and the society in general. Global healthcare policies, suggest the sooner possible discharge of stroke patients from hospitals, but the transition to home is a stressful experience for family caregivers who are suddenly faced with the responsibility of homecare provision. Sufficient international evidence suggest that a pre-discharge educational program for preparing family caregivers could lead to better care, less complications and better quality of life, but Cyprus still do not provide such a program. Objectives: To challenge the current healthcare practices regarding the care of elderly patients with stroke and to propose an innovative training program that will be provided by the nurses during the pre-discharge period to family caregivers. Methodology: The proposed innovation is discussed around an overview of the international literature regarding the family caregivers' education in the improvement reforms that are being pursued with the new national health system of Cyprus. Additionally, it is suggested that the Ministry of Health should create discharge services of elderly stroke patients in each hospital with the creation of a Discharge Coordinator role, who could coordinate the proposed innovation, while he/she could also inform staff on how to provide the training program to family caregivers.discharge planning and the Lewin's change theory, since the development and implementation of the innovation as a whole is based on this theory. Results: International literature highlights that family caregivers have a diversity of responsibilities at home but also unmet training needs. If these needs are not met, they may cause burden to caregivers, thus impeding their capacity to provide safe homecare to patients. Considering the significance of post-discharge homecare to the elderly patients with stroke, a proposed training program was designed for family caregivers, in an effort to motivate nurses in Cyprus to provide this preparation. Conclusions and recommendations: An attempt should be made as for the proposed innovation to be included in the future planning of the care of stroke patients as part of the improvement reforms that are being pursued with the new national health system of Cyprus. Additionally, it is suggested that the Ministry of Health should create discharge services of elderly stroke patients in each hospital with the creation of a Discharge Coordinator role, who could coordinate the proposed innovation, while he/she could also inform staff on how to provide the training program to family caregivers.
Introduction: Stroke is a chronic condition that necessitates multidimensional and overwhelming care. The caregivers of stroke patients are faced with various stressors that can threaten different aspects of their health, especially their mental health. Spiritual attitude and being spiritually oriented contribute significantly to mental health and can be used as a strategy for adapting to the stressful events that are part of the role of caregiving. This study was therefore conducted to investigate the relationship between the spiritual attitude of the family caregivers of older patients with stroke and their burden.; Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016. The study population consisted of all the family caregivers of older patients with stroke presenting to health care centers and nursing service companies of Gilan Province in Iran. The participants were selected through convenience sampling and consisted of 407 participants. Data were collected using the Spiritual Attitude Scale and the Caregiver Burden Inventory and were then analyzed in SPSS-18 using Pearson's correlation coefficient at a significance level of 0.05.; Results: The results showed that 88.9% of the caregivers were females. The mean age of the participants was 38.3±8.8 years. The duration of caregiving was <5 years in 84.4% of the participants, while its mean was 4.2±2.5 years. The mean score of spiritual attitude was 108.77±6.20. The majority of the participants (49.3%) had moderate and relatively favorable spiritual attitude (a score of 72-120), 27.8% had high or favorable spiritual attitude; 8.7% had mild burden, 54.4% had moderate burden and 37% had favorable burden. The mean score of burden was 28±12.75. A statistically significant positive relationship was observed in this study between the mean score of spiritual attitude and the total score of burden in all its dimensions, namely, time dependence, as well as the developmental, physical, social and emotional dimensions.; Conclusion: Providing strategies for improving spirituality, such as teaching spiritual self-care, can improve their burden. Given that such strategies are psychologically approved and pose no side effects, they can be used as an effective, low-cost and risk-free approach for all caregivers, so that they can acquire the necessary spiritual support for overcoming the stress caused by caring for family members through the reinforcement of their spiritual beliefs in the ultimate effort to provide effective care to older patients while maintaining their own health and quality of life.
In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated the quality of discharge documentation for stroke patients discharged home. Participants were stroke patients discharged from a regional tertiary acute and rehabilitation hospital in Australia from 2014 to 2015. Compliance with expected discharge documentation and its relationship with readmission was measured using an audit instrument for stroke patients (n = 54), and a post-discharge survey of carers was conducted. There were deficits in the documentation of the mechanism of stroke (70%), functional assessments (58%), pending test results (39%), types of support services required after discharge (35%), and patient/carer meetings with the multi-disciplinary stroke team (20%). Readmission was associated with lower compliance scores for information provided to patients or their carer. The survey results suggested that carer burden was high for carers of stroke patients discharged home. Documentation of carer/family meetings with the stroke team, functional assessments, medications, and adequate support services needs to be improved. General practitioners and carers need this information, so that they can address the post-discharge needs of these vulnerable patients.; © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.
Aims and Objectives: To describe the family caregivers' caregiving experience for stroke survivors and to identify the determinants of caregiving burden over 6 months.; Background: Sociocultural factors influence the caregiving experience in China. However, little is known about the dynamic changes occurring in Chinese caregivers' burden and its determinants.; Design: This is a prospective longitudinal study.; Methods: A total of 328 participants (164 stroke survivors and 164 family caregivers) from the neurological units of three hospitals in Shiyan were examined during a 6-month period at 1-2 days before discharge (T1) and 3 weeks (T2), 3 months (T3) and 6 months (T4) postdischarge using the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Caregiver Strain Index and the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression.; Results: Of the 209 dyads recruited, 164 completed all data collection phases, with 69% of the female caregivers aged 56.04 (SD = 4.0; range = 22-80) years. Caregivers reported higher mean burden at T1 (7.35 ± 2.9) but slightly decreased over time at T4 (6.34 ± 3.4), had borderline mean depressive symptoms only in T1 (9.71 ± 3.2) and T2 (9.02 ± 3.8) and had moderate mean social support throughout the 6-month period. Determinants of caregiving burden were stroke survivors' physical dependence, caregivers' age, caring hours per day, depressive symptoms and social support, which explained 46.8%-55.0% of the total variance (p < .05).; Conclusion: Caregivers' burden remains a serious problem in the first 6 months. It is an increasing hazard, especially for those at an advanced age who have depressive symptoms and care for severely dependent stroke survivors requiring more caring hours.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: Nurses need to be aware of and understand caregivers' cultural values and beliefs about family obligations when considering an intervention to support them in their role at home.; © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Background: Prevalence of stroke and traditional filial responsibility involve adult children in caregiving to their parent stroke survivors in China. Support resources are insufficient because of the shrinking size of family and the underdeveloped support system. Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify the correlates of perceived social support among adult child caregivers of parent stroke survivors in China. Methods: A cross-sectional correlational design was used in this study. A nonproportional quota sample of 126 adult child caregivers was recruited from Zhejiang Province, China. Data were collected at either the hospital stroke units or the respondents' homes using structured questionnaires of caregiving dyadic demographics and caregiving characteristics, 14-item Activities of Daily Living, 15-item Mutuality Scale, and 12-item Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. SPSS 17.0 was used for analysis. Results: Caregivers' mutuality, education, full employment or being retired, monthly income, having a co-carer, and having a father as the care receiver were significantly positively associated with caregivers' perceived social support. However, mutuality was not significantly associated with caregivers' perceived social support after the other factors were adjusted. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Adult child caregivers with higher levels of mutuality, education, or monthly income; who are fully employed or are retired; who have a co-carer; or who are caring for a father perceived more social support. Nursing strategies and social policies need to be directed to enhance caregiver mutuality and support caregiving efforts.
Aims and Objectives: To explore and describe the caregiving experiences of Chinese stroke caregivers.; Background: Previous research has indicated that culture can have a significant impact on the stroke caregiving experience. Moreover, scant research exists on stroke caregivers' experience within the Chinese culture.;Design: A qualitative descriptive design was used.; Methods: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with 25 family caregivers of stroke survivors. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed. Content analysis was also performed.; Findings: Twenty-five family caregivers of stroke survivors were recruited for the study. On average, respondents were 66 years old (range 45-82 years). Of 25 interviewees, 76% were female, 64% were spouse-caregivers and 36% were children-caregivers. Three themes reflecting the influence of Chinese culture on stroke caregiving emerged from the interviews. (i) Caregiving role perception. Informants accepted caregiving for the sick family member as an expected part of life, a culturally prescribed obligation and an expression of reciprocal love. (ii) Coping strategies. Connecting with family resources and connecting with inner strength were frequently reported coping strategies. (iii) Self-sacrifice. Informants identified self-reliance and feeling of restraint in their utilisation or access of formal caregiving service. Chinese caregivers sacrifice themselves for the care recipients regardless of the hardships and the neglect of their own health.; Conclusion: Our findings provide a comprehensive and culturally sensitive perspective in understanding the experience of stroke caregivers in Chinese communities. Cultural and religious backgrounds were found to influence Chinese stroke caregivers' experience, coping strategies and self-sacrifice behaviour in idiosyncratic ways.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: Research on the practice of culture can serve as a basis for the formulation of specific policies and effective interventions for supporting stroke caregivers of different cultural backgrounds.; © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
The Adult Carer Quality of Life questionnaire (AC-QoL) is a reliable and valid instrument used to assess the quality of life (QoL) of adult family caregivers. We explored the psychometric properties and tested the reliability and validity of a Chinese version of the AC-QoL with reliability and validity testing in 409 Chinese stroke caregivers. We used item-total correlation and extreme group comparison to do item analysis. To evaluate its reliability, we used a test-retest reliability approach, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), together with Cronbach’s alpha and model-based internal consistency index; to evaluate its validity, we used scale content validity, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) via principal component analysis with varimax rotation. We found that the CFA did not in fact confirm the original factor model and our EFA yielded a 31-item measure with a five-factor model. In conclusions, although some items performed differently in our analysis of the original English language version and our Chinese language version, our translated AC-QoL is a reliable and valid tool which can be used to assess the quality of life of stroke caregivers in mainland China. Chinese version AC-QoL is a comprehensive and good measurement to understand caregivers and has the potential to be a screening tool to assess QoL of caregiver.
Background: Most people with stroke in India have no access to organised rehabilitation services. The effectiveness of training family members to provide stroke rehabilitation is uncertain. Our primary objective was to determine whether family-led stroke rehabilitation, initiated in hospital and continued at home, would be superior to usual care in a low-resource setting. Methods: The Family-led Rehabilitation after Stroke in India (ATTEND) trial was a prospectively randomised open trial with blinded endpoint done across 14 hospitals in India. Patients aged 18 years or older who had had a stroke within the past month, had residual disability and reasonable expectation of survival, and who had an informal family-nominated caregiver were randomly assigned to intervention or usual care by site coordinators using a secure web-based system with minimisation by site and stroke severity. The family members of participants in the intervention group received additional structured rehabilitation training-including information provision, joint goal setting, carer training, and task-specific training-that was started in hospital and continued at home for up to 2 months. The primary outcome was death or dependency at 6 months, defined by scores 3-6 on the modified Rankin scale (range, 0 [no symptoms] to 6 [death]) as assessed by masked observers. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with Clinical Trials Registry-India (CTRI/2013/04/003557), Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12613000078752), and Universal Trial Number (U1111-1138-6707). Findings: Between Jan 13, 2014, and Feb 12, 2016, 1250 patients were randomly assigned to intervention (n=623) or control (n=627) groups. 33 patients were lost to follow-up (14 intervention, 19 control) and five patients withdrew (two intervention, three control). At 6 months, 285 (47%) of 607 patients in the intervention group and 287 (47%) of 605 controls were dead or dependent (odds ratio 0·98, 95% CI 0·78-1·23, p=0·87). 72 (12%) patients in the intervention group and 86 (14%) in the control group died (p=0·27), and we observed no difference in rehospitalisation (89 [14%]patients in the intervention group vs 82 [13%] in the control group; p=0·56). We also found no difference in total non-fatal events (112 events in 82 [13%] intervention patients vs 110 events in 79 [13%] control patients; p=0·80). Interpretation: Although task shifting is an attractive solution for health-care sustainability, our results do not support investment in new stroke rehabilitation services that shift tasks to family caregivers, unless new evidence emerges. A future avenue of research should be to investigate the effects of task shifting to health-care assistants or team-based community care. Funding: The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
Aims and objectives. Carers' experiences of caring for a stroke survivor were explored, including reactions and changes in their lives.
Method. A phenomenological approach was taken to the collection and analysis of data. Semi-structured interviews lasting an average of 43 min were carried out with nine informal carers in their own homes. All were married to someone who had survived a stroke.
Results. An overarching theme emerged, entitled: ‘lives turned upside-down’. It took time for participants to understand the long-term impacts of stroke. Carers experienced increased caring and domestic workloads alongside reduced participation and altered expectations of life. They found emotional and cognitive changes in their partners particularly distressing, and would have valued more information and help with adjusting to the increased emotional, physical and cognitive workload of caring.
Conclusions. It is important to support carers of people who have survived a stroke in adjusting to their changed lifestyles. This may affect their quality of life as well as sustainability of caring, and requires further research.
Purpose. To expand understanding of informal stroke care-giving, validated tools previously used in Hong Kong and in the UK were used with Australian stroke carers to assess their stroke-related knowledge, perceived needs, satisfaction with services received and sense of burden after stroke patients' discharge home from acute hospital care.
Methods. Record audit and telephone interviews with two cohorts of 32 carers recruited in Sydney and Brisbane 1 and 3 months post-hospital discharge, using validated scales and open questions in May–July 2006.
Results. Female carers, those with prior care-giving responsibility, and those interviewed at three compared to one month post-discharge reported greatest needs and burden from the care-giving role; needs alone significantly predicted burden. Getting information and being prepared for life after discharge were central concerns. Some felt this was accomplished, but inadequate information giving and communication mismatches were apparent.
Conclusions. Service providers need to develop partnership working with stroke families and provide a network of services and inputs that cut across conventional boundaries between health and social care, public, private and voluntary organisations, with care plans that deliver what they delineate. Stroke care-givers have common issues across countries and healthcare systems; collaborative research-based service development is advocated.
Introduction Increased frequency and intensity of inpatient therapy contributes to improved outcomes for stroke survivors. Differences exist in the amount of therapy provided internationally. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland it is recommended that a minimum of 45 min of each active therapy should be provided at least 5 days a week provided the therapy is appropriate and that the patient can tolerate this. Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (2014) data demonstrate this standard is not being achieved for most patients. No research been undertaken to explore how therapists in England manage their practice to meet time-specific therapy recommendations. The ReAcT study aims to develop an in-depth understanding of stroke therapy provision, including how the guideline of 45 min a day of each relevant therapy, is interpreted and implemented by therapists, and how it is experienced by stroke-survivors and their families.
Methods and analysis A multisite ethnographic case study design in a minimum of six stroke units will include modified process mapping, observations of service organisation, therapy delivery and documentary analysis. Semistructured interviews with therapists and service managers (n=90), and with patients and informal carers (n=60 pairs) will be conducted. Data will be analysed using the Framework approach.
Ethics and dissemination The study received a favourable ethical opinion via the National Research Ethics Service (reference number: 14/NW/0266). Participants will provide written informed consent or, where stroke-survivors lack capacity, a consultee declaration will be sought. ReAcT is designed to generate insights into the organisational, professional, social, practical and patient-related factors acting as facilitators or barriers to providing the recommended amount of therapy. Provisional recommendations will be debated in consensus meetings with stakeholders who have not participated in ReAcT case studies or interviews. Final recommendations will be disseminated to therapists, service managers, clinical guideline developers and policymakers and stroke-survivors and informal carers.
Introduction Despite the rising prevalence of stroke, no comprehensive model of postacute stroke care exists. Research on stroke has focused on acute care and early supported discharge, with less attention dedicated to longer term support in the community. Likewise, relatively little research has focused on long-term support for informal carers. This review aims to synthesise and appraise extant qualitative evidence on: (1) long-term healthcare needs of stroke survivors and informal carers, and (2) their experiences of primary care and community health services. The review will inform the development of a primary care model for stroke survivors and informal carers.
Methods and analysis We will systematically search 4 databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL for published qualitative evidence on the needs and experiences of stroke survivors and informal carers of postacute care delivered by primary care and community health services. Additional searches of reference lists and citation indices will be conducted. The quality of articles will be assessed by 2 independent reviewers using a Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. Disagreements will be resolved through discussion or third party adjudication. Meta-ethnography will be used to synthesise the literature based on first-order, second-order and third-order constructs. We will construct a theoretical model of stroke survivors’ and informal carers’ experiences of primary care and community health services.
Ethics and dissemination The results of the systematic review will be disseminated via publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at a relevant conference. The study does not require ethical approval as no patient identifiable data will be used.
Background: Increased life expectancy has resulted in a greater provision of informal care within the community for patients with chronic physical health conditions. Informal carers are at greater risk of poor mental health, with one in three informal carers of stroke survivors experiencing depression. However, currently no psychological treatments tailored to the unique needs of depressed informal carers of stroke survivors exist. Furthermore, informal carers of stroke survivors experience a number of barriers to attending traditional face-to-face psychological services, such as lack of time and the demands of the caring role. The increased flexibility associated with supported cognitive behavioral therapy self-help (CBTsh), such as the ability for support to be provided by telephone, email, or face-to-face, alongside shorter support sessions, may help overcome such barriers to access. CBTsh, tailored to depressed informal carers of stroke survivors may represent an effective and acceptable solution.
Methods/Design: This study is a Phase II (feasibility) randomized controlled trial (RCT) following guidance in the MRC Complex Interventions Research Methods Framework. We will randomize a sample of depressed informal carers of stroke survivors to receive CBT self-help supported by mental health paraprofessionals, or treatment-as-usual. Consistent with the objectives of assessing the feasibility of trial design and procedures for a potential larger scale trial we will measure the following outcomes: a) feasibility of patient recruitment (recruitment and refusal rates); (b) feasibility and acceptability of data collection procedures; (c) levels of attrition; (d) likely intervention effect size; (e) variability in number, length and frequency of support sessions estimated to bring about recovery; and (f) acceptability of the intervention. Additionally, we will collect data on the diagnosis of depression, symptoms of depression and anxiety, functional impairment, carer burden, quality of life, and stroke survivor mobility skill, self-care and functional ability, measured at four and six months post-randomization.
Discussion: This study will provide important information for the feasibility and design of a Phase III (effectiveness) trial in the future. If the intervention is identified to be feasible, effective, and acceptable, a written CBTsh intervention for informal carers of stroke survivors, supported by mental health paraprofessionals, could represent a cost-effective model of care.
Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN63590486.
Background: Stroke is a life-disrupting, costly event for many stroke patients and their families. An estimated 4.8 million stroke survivors are living in the community with some level of disability, and the incidence of stroke is expected to rise with correspondingly higher costs, both in dollars and other forms of burden for families of patients with stroke. Approximately 80,000 veterans have experienced a stroke, leaving approximately 40% with moderate residual impairments and 15%–30% with severe residual disability. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify postdischarge needs of veterans with stroke and their caregivers and to identify how to design a care coordination/home-telehealth (CC/HT) program to address these needs. Method: Veterans and their caregivers (N = 22) were interviewed about their experiences with stroke, their postdischarge stroke recovery needs, and their experiences with the Veterans Administration’s existing Care Coordination/Home-Telehealth (CC/HT) program. Data were analyzed using the process of grounded dimensional analysis. Results: Core concepts identified were (a) assessing and managing the residual effects of stroke, and (b) shifting roles and responsibilities. Conclusion: The findings suggest that a comprehensive care coordination program that includes home telehealth could aid veterans and their caregivers in managing stroke recovery across the continuum of care at home and within the community. The results of the study can provide elements to be included in the CC/HT program.
Objective: To explore the experiences of adult stroke survivors and their parent carers.
Design: Qualitative methodology: interpretative phenomenological analysis. Setting: Six residential areas across England and south Wales. Participants: Six adult stroke survivors (aged 27–46), six mothers (aged 59–76) and five fathers (aged 55–76).
Method: Semi-structured interviews to explore the relationship and interactions between parent and survivor prior to and after a stroke, with opportunities to explore both positive and negative changes. All interviews were transcribed and analysed by a six step interpretative phenomenological analysis process. Survivors, mothers and fathers were analysed as three separate groups and the results were synthesised.
Results: Identical and interconnected themes emerged from the three groups, permitting synthesis into a single organising framework with four superordinate themes capturing the key issues for all three groups. The four superordinate themes were: ‘emotional turmoil’; ‘significance of parents’; ‘negotiating independence versus dependence’ and ‘changed relationships’.
Conclusions:Parents reported adjusting to caring with relative ease. Survivors did not adjust to being cared for with such ease and felt positioned in a child role. Balancing independence and dependence was a challenge for survivors and parents and is considered within a systemic theory framework. Implications for service developments and guidelines are considered.
Background: Carers of stroke survivors with aphasia are at risk of experiencing negative bio-psychosocial consequences and reduced quality of life. So far, in aphasia studies, this has mainly been explored through qualitative interviews and questionnaires. Unsolicited first-person narratives in the form of blogs offer a novel and rich source of data to examine how stroke and aphasia affect the carer and their relationship with the person with aphasia.
Aims: This study explored how carers of people with aphasia perceive their roles and responsibilities; it also examined the consequences of carrying out these carer roles and duties, in terms of both the carer’s own well-being and their relationship with the person with aphasia; furthermore, it investigated facilitative factors in their adaptation to the carer role.
Methods & Procedures: Publically available blogs written by carers of aphasic stroke survivors, which included information on how stroke and aphasia affect the carer and their relationship with the person with aphasia, were analysed using the Framework Method.
Outcomes & Results: The search resulted in nine carer blogs. The number of posts per blog ranged from 13 to 241. For blogs containing over 90 posts, the first and last 30 relevant posts were collected and analysed. New roles and extra responsibilities identified by participants included having to act as therapists, nurses, counsellors, and administrators and carrying out tasks usually assigned to the other person in the relationship. The extra tasks and duties impacted on the carers’ quality of life and their relationship with the person with aphasia in negative ways, such as leading to physical and mental exhaustion, health issues, feeling lonely, and resentful of their circumstances; however, participants also identified positive changes such as new closeness, new appreciation of life, and pride in achievements. A variety of strategies emerged from the data that helped carers adjust to their new roles. Strategies included positive reframing, allocating time to oneself, and seeking support from family and friends. The activity of blogging was also mentioned as having beneficial effects on the carers’ well-being.
Conclusions: The study provides further evidence for the specific challenges faced by carers of people with stroke and aphasia; it thus confirms the importance of addressing carer related needs in intervention and considering psychosocial well-being for both the carer and the person with aphasia.
Incontinence is a discrediting and stigmatising condition for those who experience it, as it signifies a person who is lacking in self-control. For their carers, the very nature of undertaking ‘dirty work’ signifies a low status and low paid job. Those health care professionals higher in status and financial reward put distance between themselves and bodywork, especially bodywork that deals with bodily decay. However, little is known or has been highlighted about the social consequences that living with and dealing with incontinence can have on informal carers. In this paper we examine the notion of dirty work and ‘unbounded’ bodies in the role of informal carers. Through qualitative interviews with carers of stroke survivors the negative social consequences of dealing with incontinence for both the survivor and the carer are explored. We also examine the strategies employed by carers and stroke survivors in order to manage the symptom in an attempt to prove the adult status of the survivor and to protect both the identity of the survivor and the carer. The embarrassment of leakage and the moral danger of odour can lead some carers and survivors to make decisions that can isolate both within the confines of their home. In this sense the very meaning of home is transformed into an isolated and marginalised space.
Informal carers underpin community care policies. An initial cohort of 105 informal live-in carers of new stroke patients from the South Coast of England was followed up before discharge, six weeks after discharge and 15 months after stroke with face-to-face interviews assessing physical and psychological health, and social wellbeing. The carer cohort was compared to a cohort of 50 matched non-carers over the same time period. Carer distress was common (37–54%), started early on in the care-giving experience and continued until 15 months after stroke. Carers were 2.5 times as likely as non-carers to have significant psychological distress. Presence of early distress predicted 90% of those significantly distressed 15 months after stroke. Female carers were likely to develop distress earlier than male carers and in anticipation of the care-giving situation. Male carers developed similar levels of distress but only once the care-giving situation became reality. Further research is needed to establish ways to screen for psychological distress early after onset of caregiving, to find ways to tailor proven support interventions to the individual carer, and to evaluate the effect of early detection and support provision on later carer distress.
The effects of stroke on families are considerable. Family members may struggle to adapt to a care-giving role, and relationships between stroke survivors and those closest to them are often altered by the illness. This article provides an overview of the effects of stroke on family dynamics and identifies interventions to support stroke survivors and their families during this difficult time.
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for family caregivers on their psychosocial and physical wellbeing, quality of life, and the use of healthcare resources by stroke survivors.
Methods: Electronic English and Chinese bibliographic databases were searched (inception to January 2012) for clinical trials. Two reviewers independently selected and appraised study quality. When possible, data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were statistically pooled. Otherwise, a narrative summary was used.
Results: Eighteen studies (psychoeducation and social support group) were included. Pooled analysis of two individual psychoeducation programs showed a small effect on improving family functioning (SMD: −0.12; 95% CI: −0.23 to −0.01; p = 0.03). Caregivers receiving psychoeducation that aimed at equipping caregivers with the skills of problem-solving, caregiving, and stress-coping appeared to have a more positive influence on the caregivers’ psychosocial wellbeing and a reduced use of healthcare resources by stroke survivors.
Conclusion: Evidence on the effects of psychosocial interventions was limited. More RCTs of multifaceted psychoeducation programs are needed to further examine the optimal dose and format.
Practical implications: To support caregivers across the stroke trajectory, the core skills of problem-solving and stress-coping should be included in the psychosocial interventions.
Background. Stroke is the third most common cause of death in industrialized countries and a major cause of adult disability. However, the burden of caring for stroke survivors usually rests with family members who have neither chosen nor volunteered for the role of ‘carer’.
Aims. This paper reports on a study which aimed to describe the experience of caring for a stroke survivor at one year after stroke in Scotland.
Study design. Semi-structured, taped interviews were conducted with 90 carers of stroke survivors one year after stroke and the data analysed using NUD*IST. The interviews were part of a larger study, which included the administration of a range of valid and reliable multidimensional instruments to both carers and stroke survivors. The interview prompt schedule had been developed and tested in a previous study.
Findings. Although a medical emergency, stroke was not always diagnosed or treated as such by either the public or general practitioners. Initially most carers found that they lacked the knowledge and skills to care for the stroke survivor at home and so they had to learn how to obtain the information and assistance required. Carers had to adapt to the changes that stroke effected in the stroke survivor and seek alternative ways of securing the resources they needed for managing their lives. They thought that they had not been prepared adequately for the caring role or assessed satisfactorily in terms of whether they could manage given their skill level, age and/or health status.
Conclusions. A public health campaign to educate and inform that stroke is a medical emergency is required if stroke disability is to be minimized. The use of new technologies should be considered in facilitating carers’ learning how to care. There is a need to test alternative models of stroke follow-up in multi-centre studies that are holistic and place the carer-stroke survivor at the centre of care.
Carers of stroke survivors face significant burdens, and increased carer strain has negative implications for both the stroke survivor and the carer. In a prospective cohort of White British and British Indian stroke survivors and their carers, we report the incidence of carer strain in each ethnic group, describe patient and carer characteristics, and identify predictors of increased carer strain. Multidimensional outcome measures were used to assess the physical and cognitive function in stroke survivors at one month and 3-6 months from stroke onset. Levels of car strain were assessed at the same time points using the Carer Strain Index and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Statistical significance for difference in patient and carer characteristics between White British and British Indian groups was assessed. There were no differences in levels of carer strain between the two ethnic groups. These findings will inform future research, and in turn, may help to guide population-targeted interventions aimed at reducing carer strain.
BACKGROUND: Attention is currently focused on family care of stroke survivors, but the effectiveness of support services is unclear. We did a single-blind, randomised, controlled trial to assess the impact of family support on stroke patients and their carers.
METHODS: Patients with acute stroke admitted to hospitals in Oxford, UK, were assigned family support or normal care within 6 weeks of stroke. After 6 months, we assessed, for carers, knowledge about stroke, Frenchay activities index, general health questionnaire-28 scores, caregiver strain index, Dartmouth co-op charts, short form 36 (SF-36), and satisfaction scores, and, for patients, knowledge about stroke and use of services, Barthel index, Rivermead mobility index, Frenchay activities index, London handicap scale, hospital anxiety and depression scales, Dartmouth co-op charts, and satisfaction.
FINDINGS: 323 patients and 267 carers were followed up. Carers in the intervention group had significantly better Frenchay activities indices (p=0.03), SF-36 scores (energy p=0.02, mental health p=0.004, pain p=0.03, physical function p=0.025, and general health perception p=0.02), quality of life on the Dartmouth co-op chart (p=0.01), and satisfaction with understanding of stroke (82 vs 71%, p=0.04) than those in the control group. Patients' knowledge about stroke, disability, handicap, quality of life, and satisfaction with services and understanding of stroke did not differ between groups. Fewer patients in the intervention group than in the control group saw a physiotherapist after discharge (44 vs 56%, p=0.04), but use of other services was similar.
INTERPRETATION: Family support significantly increased social activities and improved quality of life for carers, with no significant effects on patients.
Stroke is a very common cause of adult disability often leaving stroke survivors dependent on others. Much of this support comes from informal carers. Research has demonstrated the importance of these carers to survivors’ recovery but also suggests that caregiving has adverse consequences. Meta-ethnography was applied to review qualitative research looking at informal stroke carers’ experiences and responses to caring. Electronic databases from 2006 to 2009 were searched and after application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, seven studies were reviewed.
The experience of caring for stroke survivors centres around change and loss overlaid with uncertainty. Change includes changes in roles and relationships. Losses include former relationships, autonomy and taken-for-granted futures. These challenge carers’ perception of their identity.
Carers respond cognitively and practically and attempts to reconstruct their lives may lead to acceptance and adjustment. This process is one of biographical disruption for carers but can result in personal growth.
If carers and stroke survivors are to be supported, acknowledging specific issues including role and relationship changes and perceptions of reduced autonomy may be more valuable than attempting to reduce carer burden or strain. Clinicians frequently only see families over short periods and may therefore have little understanding of the major, long-term disruptive impact of caregiving. If professionals working with families of stroke survivors are made aware of this and of the necessity for carers to come to terms with their changed roles and identities, they will be better equipped to understand and respond to carers’ practical and emotional needs.
To examine the effects of caregiver's burden, depression, and support on post-stroke depression (PSD), cross-sectional data were obtained from an epidemiologic survey of 225 stroke survivors and their caregivers living in Seoul, Korea. Multivariate analyses showed that, taking the clinical status of patients into account, caregiver's burden, depression and support were related to higher PSD. Perceived burden exerts adverse effects on PSD through its influence on the depression in caregivers. Hence, the care of stroke survivors that incorporates the care of caregivers is likely to reduce the risk of post-stroke depression in patients.
Purpose. To summarize qualitative studies from the last decade that focus on experiences of caring for stroke survivors and to describe challenges, satisfactions and coping strategies.
Methods. A systematic review of qualitative studies identified from English language medicine, nursing and psychology databases from 1996–2006 was undertaken.
Results. Seventeen qualitative studies fitting the inclusion and exclusion criteria, mostly from the USA, were identified. All used carer interviews. These studies corroborate the quantitative research, commonly describing difficulties including emotional responses, uncertainty and associated information and training needs. However, compared with quantitative research, qualitative studies provide a more detailed, complete picture of carers' experiences and identify additional areas including role and relationship changes, positive outcomes and coping strategies.
Conclusions. Qualitative studies add significantly to our understanding of carers' experiences. Caring for stroke survivors is often challenging but focusing on the difficulties and not drawing attention to successful management strategies and satisfaction reported by carers, limits understanding and reduces the chances of providing appropriate support. Future qualitative research should consider the implications of the timing of collection more carefully and should move away from simple content or thematic analysis which tends to emphasize similarities amongst carers and should now focus on understanding carer diversity. Acknowledging this diversity should maximize the chances of providing appropriate support.
This paper provides an account of how family carers were involved in a longitudinal research study that aimed to investigate the needs of ‘new’ family carers of stroke survivors. An account of how the researcher involved carers is provided, followed by one carer's description of the benefits and negative consequences of being involved in the study. Suggestions are made about how to develop good practice with regard to involving people in research. The conclusions highlight that, although rewarding, being involved in research is not without its challenges. However, research participants have much to contribute to the entire research process and its products. It is important therefore to learn lessons about how best to maximise the expertise that carers and others have to offer.
I give an account of disquieting experiences in relation to my treatment and those with chronic illness in the acute system during my 5 years’ experience as an informal caregiver. People with chronic illness (and their caregivers), particularly stroke survivors face a biased, frustrating and even dangerous acute care hospital system where they are second class. Well-being and stability from rehabilitation and self-management can be undermined. Dow and McDonald’s (2007) concept: ‘disenfranchised care contractors’ within early discharge and ‘hospital in the home’ programs is generalised more broadly. The studies that initiated Hospital at Home programs are scrutinised. The Australian medical system relies on informal carers in a fundamental way but still does not identify or acknowledge them despite the presence of laws such as the Carers Recognition Act (2005). A new concept argues informal caregivers ‘do social bonds’ at a deep level, weaving the social fabric into a denser structure. But as part of the private world, the formal system treats them routinely with disrespect and they can be manipulated to obtain their participation in early discharge programs and long term care.
QUESTIONWhat are the social consequences for informal carers who live with stroke survivors who have urinary incontinence?DESIGNIn-depth interviews analysed by constant comparison.SETTINGHomes of stroke survivors.PARTICIPANTSPurposive sample of 20 carers 51-86 years of age (65% women) who lived in the same house and provided care to stroke survivors with incontinence for 7 months to 18 years without remuneration; most were spouses, partners, or daughters of care recipients (CRs). Carers were recruited from a UK Medical Research Council Incontinence study and a local Family Support Office.METHODSCarers were interviewed for 45-90 minutes on topics including physical role of carer, effect of caring for someone with stroke on life of carer, onset of stroke, health problems related to stroke, urinary incontinence and leakage, and the CR's family. Interviews were tape recorded (except for 1 written record), transcribed verbatim, coded hierarchically, and analysed for themes.MAIN FINDINGSStrategies for becoming [...]
Objective: To validate a measure of the carer’s perspective of a stroke survivor’s communication in everyday life.
Design: Cross-sectional, interview-based, psychometric study. Setting: A community sample from the northwest of England, UK. Subjects: Fifty-eight carers and 58 stroke survivors with communication problems (aphasia and/or dysarthria) following a stroke within the previous 4—12 months.
Interventions: Administration of the 20-item Carer Communication Outcome after Stroke (Carer COAST) scale, on two occasions, within a two-week period; the 15-item Carers of Older People in Europe (COPE) Index, the patient Communication Outcome after Stroke (COAST) Scale, and collection of demographic and other data relating to the stroke survivor’s disability (Barthel Index), degree of aphasia (Frenchay Aphasia Screening Test) and hospital diagnosis of aphasia/dysarthria.
Main measures: Acceptability (missing values), reliability (internal consistency and test—retest reliability) and construct validity.
Results: Carer COAST showed good acceptability (no incomplete items, sample spread 24—100%), internal consistency and test—retest reliability for the scale (a = 0.94; intraclass correlation (ICC) = 0.91) and its subscales (a = 0.78—0.90; ICC = 0.75—0.87), and indicative evidence on construct validity (Carer COAST, COPE subscales and COAST). There were statistically significant correlations between the communication items of Carer COAST and the negative impact of caregiving (rs = —0.29) and the financial difficulties of caregiving (rs = —0.38).
Conclusions: The Carer COAST scale has considerable potential as a reliable and valid measure of the carer’s perspective on the communication effectiveness of stroke survivors. Intercorrelations with COPE provide specific evidence of the impact of caring for a person with communication difficulties following a stroke.
Background: The need to support carers of stroke survivors is widely recognised. However, research on which to base recommendations is scarce. Little research has focused on carers of stroke survivors with aphasia, and that which exists suffers from problems with sample size and methodology. More information is needed about methods used by carers to manage communication difficulties and about coping strategies that promote emotional wellbeing.
Aims: To assess the coping strategies used by informal carers of stroke survivors with aphasia to manage communication problems, and their association with depressive symptoms. To assess whether a problem-specific coping inventory offers an advantage over a generic coping questionnaire for this purpose.
Methods & Procedures: Questionnaires were completed by 150 informal caregivers of stroke survivors with aphasia. The Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale measured depressive symptoms. Coping was assessed with the Brief COPE and a problem-specific questionnaire on coping with communication difficulties. Level of social support was also assessed. Multiple regression analysis explored associations between coping and depressive symptoms. Mediation analysis assessed the significance of the indirect effect of coping between the level of communication impairment in the stroke survivor and the degree of depressive symptoms in the carer.
Outcomes & Results: Participants reported a wide range of coping strategies. Avoidant styles of coping were associated with increased depressive symptomatology. Coping by use of positive reframing was linked with fewer symptoms of depression. Anticipated level of social support was also associated with less depressive symptomology. The level of communication impairment of the stroke survivor was not predictive of depressive symptoms in carers after controlling for coping and social support. Limited support was found for a mediating model of coping. Inclusion of one subscale from the problem-specific questionnaire improved the amount of variance accounted for in depressive symptoms, above that explained by the Brief COPE.
Conclusions: The results verify that the impairment of the stroke survivor has less effect on carers' psychosocial functioning compared to coping. Assessment of coping can help to identify carers presenting with increased risk of depression. A traditional coping inventory provides an adequate assessment of the coping strategies used to manage communication problems, and can be supplemented by specific questions about avoidance. Interventions that develop some emotion-focused coping strategies in carers may support adaptation. Interventions should also aim to decrease the use of unhelpful coping strategies rather than solely focusing on increasing problem-focused forms of coping.
Aims and objectives. Understanding the experiences of stroke patients and their carers during the early days following discharge from hospital is an important aspect of providing appropriate care during this crucial time.
Background. Due to the diverse changes that can result from a stroke, adjustment to returning home may raise many issues for those involved. A review of research was undertaken with the aim of identifying what is already known about experiences at this time.
Design. Systematic review. Method. Search of electronic databases.
Results. The review revealed that recognition of the impact of stroke on patients and carers is improving, with many studies focussing on the longer-term aspects of stroke recovery. Research into the early discharge experiences of stroke patients and/or their carers is often limited to retrospective, longitudinal studies. With the continuing shift towards care in the community, patients and carers can increasingly expect more recovery to be taking place at home at an even earlier stage. Earlier discharge may have important implications for those involved. The review also highlighted that patients with aphasia have frequently been excluded from stroke research and that social roles are important aspects in stroke recovery.
Conclusions. To prepare patients and carers better for the impact of returning home, further research is needed into their experiences at this significant time, particularly in the UK. There is also a need to facilitate the inclusion of those with aphasia in stroke research.
Relevance to clinical practice. An improved understanding of the issues facing stroke patients and carers during their early days at home should facilitate the preparation for discharge in the hospital setting and allow more focussed follow-up services in the community.
In Australia, more than 346,000 individuals who experience a stroke return to living in their homes with varying degrees of disability. They rely on emotional and physical support from informal carers, typically family members. Informal carers have an indispensable role in patient care poststroke, and the ability of carers to manage this role effectively is crucial for stroke survivors to be able to return home. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of the caring role on carers of stroke survivors, particularly the services provided and the levels of depression and well-being experienced. The study used a longitudinal design incorporating survey methods. Stroke survivors were assessed for functional ability, quality of life, and depression using three assessment tools: the Stroke Impact Scale, World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF scale, and Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale. A total of 26 people were surveyed: 13 stroke survivors and their 13 carers. Carer knowledge of stroke support services was also explored. Information was collected by using survey methods and structured interviews at 3 weeks and at 3 months postdischarge. The main finding was that depression scores for carers and stroke survivors were below Australian norms at both assessment time points. The major concern identified by carers was poor follow-up procedures for initiating rehabilitation in the home. This study highlighted that a lack of appropriate discharge planning, in conjunction with early discharge of stroke survivors, can have an impact on the rehabilitation process and place increased and unrealistic demands on carers.
Stroke is a condition that affects both patients and family members who provide care and support. Because stroke is an unexpected traumatic event that suddenly forces family members into a caregiving role, caregivers often experience an overwhelming sense of burden, depression, and isolation; a decline in physical and mental health; and reduced quality of life. Caregiver health is inextricably linked to a stroke survivor's physical, cognitive, and psychological recovery. Evidence suggests that informational interventions alone are not as effective in meeting the complex needs of stroke caregivers as interventions that combine information with other support services. This article discusses issues related to stroke caregiving and proposes comprehensive strategies designed to meet the poststroke recovery needs of both patients and caregivers. Suggested strategies include a comprehensive assessment specific to caregiver needs, skills, and resources and case management services designed to provide continuity of care across the stroke-recovery trajectory.
Purpose. Stroke has far reaching effects on both stroke survivors and their informal carers. Research has highlighted changes in autonomy of stroke survivors, but insufficient focus has been put on the associated reduced control and independence of their informal carers. This study investigates the experiences of informal carers of stroke survivors from discharge to 3 months later.
Method. A purposive sample of 31 informal carers was interviewed in depth just prior to discharge, 1 month and 3 months post-discharge. Interviews lasted 30–90 min and were audio-taped and transcribed. Data analysis was ongoing starting during data collection and ending with themes that described and helped understand carers' experiences.
Results. Carers described reductions in their autonomy and independence but also over time identified strategies to manage these changes and to increase control in their lives. These strategies included selection, optimisation, compensation, asking for and accepting help and negotiation. Some carers, especially older carers and those with prior caring experience, were less likely to describe changes in autonomy and control.
Conclusions. Carers' reduced autonomy and independence should be recognised by practitioners and service providers. Helping carers to negotiate choice and control over the support offered could help increase their autonomy and independence. To offer improved support to these carers, greater attention should to given to the diversity of their situations and experiences.
Because of the trend toward shorter hospital stays, family caregivers of stroke survivors are expected to accept more responsibility for helping survivors during the subacute recovery process. The caregiver role is associated with negative health outcomes, yet existing literature differs on whether work status is a contributor. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to examine how caregiving affects employment and to compare characteristics of working and nonworking caregivers. Baseline data of family caregivers (N = 132) caring for stroke survivors 3-9 months after stroke and enrolled in a national multisite study were used. Caregiver characteristics of physical health, depression, fatigue, family functioning, and family conflict were measured. A total of 36% of caregivers reduced their work hours, resigned, or retired from their jobs to care for their family member. A larger proportion (n= 25, 66%) of minority caregivers were employed (full time or part time) compared to white caregivers (n = 43, 46%). Caregivers employed full time were younger and in better physical health but were at higher risk for depressive symptoms than nonworking caregivers. Family function and conflict were similar between the groups, but working caregivers received more assistance from other family members. Healthcare professionals and employers can use these findings to assist them with recognizing the needs of employed caregivers and offering support measures to facilitate their dual role.
The proportion of disabled stroke survivors is increasing. These people may experience loss of sensation that negatively impacts on performance and participation in daily activities. The value of adopting active approaches to rehabilitation is growing; however, high costs and demand over an extended period of time impose limits on therapist-based application. Informal carers and family members are a potential, low-cost resource for expanding the scope of rehabilitation across environments and over extended time periods. We systematically developed and established the effectiveness of an approach to retraining lost sensation and function in the hand that has positive outcomes in relation to the ability to feel everyday textures and objects and use the hand in daily tasks. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether family members, as surrogate therapists, are able to effectively conduct the sensory training program in home environments. Three single-case quasi-experiments were conducted in which stroke survivors' spouses implemented the training program across touch or limb position sensations. We found positive treatment effects in all cases. These findings indicate that selected surrogate therapists (spouses) can successfully implement a program of sensory retraining when provided 2 to 3 hours of training and supervision by a qualified therapist.
Purpose: This study was designed to explore the concept of recovery from the perspectives of stroke survivors and informal carers. The aim of this qualitative study was to identify the main factors that are perceived to contribute to recovery after stroke. Method: Data were obtained via focus groups using semistructured questionnaires. One focus group included all participants (n = 14). This was followed by separate focus groups for stroke survivors (n = 8) and informal carers (n = 6). The data from the three focus groups were analysed using thematic analysis, whereby themes and sub-themes were identified and summarised via dual coding. Results: The main theme identified was “individual recovery expectations”. The contributing sub-themes were: “essential elements of recovery”, “returning home” and “the environment of rehabilitation”. The predominant factors to arise from this study surround the concepts of “returning to normality” for the stroke survivor and the “tension of providing care” for informal carers. Conclusions: This study provides a current description of stroke survivor and carer expectations of recovery. There are diverse and ongoing concerns that can be encountered into the chronic phase poststroke. Models of community-based care should adopt targeted interventions that concurrently consider stroke survivor and carer’s individual concepts of recovery.
Aims and objectives. To investigate anxiety in informal carers of stroke survivors in the first three months after discharge. Background. Informal carers, also called caregivers, play a vital role in supporting stroke survivors. However, caring for stroke survivors can have adverse consequences amongst carers such as burden, stress and reduced quality of life. Emotional distress is also commonly reported but anxiety has received less attention than depression. Design. Prospective, longitudinal, descriptive study. Method. Forty-five carers completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale on two occasions – within one month and at three months after discharge from stroke and rehabilitation units. Results. Carers were more likely to have scores indicating anxiety than depression. In the first month, half the carers (51·1%) scored in the cut-off for anxiety and a third were in the cut-off for depression (31·1%). At three months, the picture was very similar with nearly identical proportions in the anxious and depressed categories (48·9% and 28·9%, respectively). Changes in numbers of cases of anxiety and depression and in mean anxiety scores were non-significant but there was a significant decrease in depression scores (p = 0·048). Fourteen carers (31·1%) at one month and eleven (24·4%) at three months fell into both anxious and depressed categories. Conclusions. Anxiety is a relatively neglected emotional outcome in stroke carers. Our study suggests anxiety is an important issue very early in caring whilst other research suggests it remains prevalent for many months. Given the significant role carers play in rehabilitation of stroke survivors, greater recognition of their emotional state is required. Further, longitudinal research with larger sample sizes from a range of geographical areas and improved understanding of factors associated with anxiety is needed. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses working in the community are ideally placed to identify and support carers suffering from anxiety.
Overall satisfaction levels with social care are usually high but lower levels have been reported among black and minority ethnic (BME) service users in England. Reasons for this are poorly understood. This qualitative study therefore explored satisfaction with services among informal carer participants from five different ethnic groups. Fifty-seven carers (black Caribbean, black African, Asian Indian, Asian Pakistani and white British) were recruited from voluntary sector organisations and a local hospital in England, and took part in semi-structured interviews using cognitive interviewing and the critical incident technique. Interviews took place from summer 2013 to spring 2014. Thematic analysis of the interviews showed that participants often struggled to identify specific ‘incidents’, especially satisfactory ones. When describing satisfactory services, participants talked mostly about specific individuals and relationships. Unsatisfactory experiences centred on services overall. When rating services using cognitive interviewing, explicit comparisons with expectations or experiences with other services were common. Highest satisfaction ratings tended to be justified by positive personal characteristics among practitioners, trust and relationships. Lower level ratings were mostly explained by inconsistency in services, insufficient or poor care. Lowest level ratings were rare. Overall, few differences between ethnic groups were identified, although white British participants rated services higher overall giving more top ratings. White British participants also frequently took a more overall view of services, highlighting some concerns but still giving top ratings, while South Asian carers in particular focused on negative aspects of services. Together these methods provide insight into what participants mean by satisfactory and unsatisfactory services. Cognitive interviewing was more challenging for some BME participants, possibly a reflection of the meaningfulness of the concept of service satisfaction to them. Future research should include comparisons between BME and white participants’ understanding of the most positive parts of satisfaction scales and should focus on dissatisfied participants.
Background Rapid access to acute stroke care is essential to improve stroke patient outcomes. Policy recommendations for the emergency management of stroke have resulted in significant changes to stroke services, including the introduction of hyper-acute care.
Objective To explore patients’ and carers’ experiences of gaining access to acute stroke care and identify the factors that enabled or prevented stroke from being treated as a medical emergency.
Methods Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 59 stroke survivors and carers who had received care at seven UK centres. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was undertaken.
Results Themes emerging showed that participants recognised signs and symptoms, they were satisfied with access to emergency medical services (EMS), and they experienced setbacks in the emergency department and delays caused by the lack of availability of specialist services outside normal working hours. Awareness of the importance of time to treatment was generally attributed to the UK stroke awareness campaign, although some felt the message was not sufficiently comprehensive. This awareness led to increased frustration when participants perceived a lack of urgency in the provision of assessment and medical care.
Conclusions The stroke awareness social marketing campaign has contributed to public knowledge and was perceived to assist in reducing prehospital delay. It has also resulted in an enhanced knowledge of the significance of rapid treatment on admission to hospital and raised public expectation of EMS and stroke services to act fast. More research is required to assist organisational change to reduce in-hospital delay.
With the growing burden of chronic illness affecting aging populations, rural health systems are faced with unique challenges to support and promote health in their communities. The Yarmouth Stroke Project was a 5-year initiative aimed at improving health care services for stroke survivors in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. A needs assessment indicated a lack of support to self-manage stroke during community re-integration. The needs reported by stroke survivors and their caregivers included informational and emotional support. A logic model approach was used to frame program planning leading to the design of two low-cost interventions. The first, a Community Resource Guide, was developed to address informational needs and enable stroke survivors to access community-specific resources. The second intervention, designed to address the emotional support needs of stroke survivors and their caregivers, involved collection and publication of local narratives. The stories described the experiences of community members affected by stroke, offering practical knowledge and messages of hope. The resource guide and stories represent two low-cost strategies for supporting and promoting the health of people living with stroke in rural settings.
Background and Purpose—Behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with stroke are gaining increasing attention in a field in which recovery of physical function has dominated. A small body of research has begun to suggest that stroke survivors' (SSs') behavioral and psychological symptoms contribute to family caregivers' experiences of emotional distress. The objective of this research was to determine the unique contribution of SS behavioral and psychological symptoms on caregiver emotional distress during the first 2 years poststroke.
Method—A longitudinal cohort study was conducted of individuals who have survived their first stroke and their caregivers. Participants completed standardized measures by telephone interviews at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months poststroke. A subsample completed additional assessments 18 and 24 months poststroke. These longitudinal data were analyzed using mixed effects modeling.
Results—Three hundred ninety-nine SS/caregiver dyads participated. Overall, caregivers reported more emotional distress when caring for SSs exhibiting more depressive symptoms and more cognitive impairment and when caregivers were younger, female, in poorer physical health, experienced more lifestyle interference, and reported less mastery. SSs' physical disability, stroke severity, and comorbidity were not significant. The set of significant predictors remained consistent when examined in the subsample followed for 2 years (except SS cognitive impairment).
Conclusions—Interventions aimed at improving caregiver well-being should focus on enhancing clinical management of SSs' depression and better preparing caregivers to manage behavioral and psychological symptoms. In addition, respite programs that encourage caregivers to maintain participation in valued activities may be beneficial.
Background: Caring for stroke survivors at home can have an enormous impact on informal carers and past research has tended to focus on the negative emotional consequences of caring, with few identifying any positive outcomes. Despite an awareness that the experiences of these carers change over time, there is a dearth of qualitative studies investigating carers’ experiences over time.
Objectives: To investigate the experiences of informal carers of stroke survivors over time.
Design: Qualitative study.
Setting: Carers of stroke survivors from one acute and two rehabilitation units in South-West London.
Participants: A purposive sample of 31 informal carers of stroke survivors discharged from inpatient treatment and rehabilitation returning home were interviewed. The majority of participants’ were spouses but they also included adult sons and daughters. Most participants were post-retirement age.
Methods: Audio-taped in-depth interviews of 30–90 min duration were undertaken at three time points—close to discharge, 1 month and 3 months post-discharge. Interviews were transcribed immediately after each interview. Analysis was an ongoing process starting during data collection and ending with themes. As themes emerged they were identified and discussed with other members of the team so that any patterns across the interviews were noted. Themes were followed up at subsequent interviews. This process enabled progressive focusing of ideas and also validated respondents’ accounts.
Results: There were a total of 81 interviews and these carers were similar demographically to other carers in stroke research. A central theme of uncertainty with a number of other interconnected themes were identified. Other themes including adopting routines and strategies, absolute and relative positives and questioning the future could be seen to both influence and be influenced by uncertainty. These themes can all be related to the changes in carers’ lives or the management of uncertainty around stroke. Differences in experiences and coping strategies were identified between new carers and those with prior caring experience.
Conclusions: Carers experience considerable uncertainty when caring for stroke survivors. Living with uncertainty is central to these carers’ experiences and this should be acknowledged by clinicians when supporting stroke survivors and carers. Encouraging the identification of the positive aspects of caring may help carers manage the challenges and uncertainties created by stroke.
Purpose: Stroke caregivers have been identified as a group at high risk for poor outcomes as a result of the suddenness of stroke and a potentially high level of care needed due to significant functional limitations of the patient. However, there is little research on the assessment of family members who will assume the caregiving role prior to patient discharge from rehabilitation. The purpose of this article is to delineate critical assessment domains identified by a subset of spousal stroke caregivers. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted pre- and post-discharge from rehabilitation as part of a larger study that focused on identifying caregiver and stroke survivor needs as they transitioned home from inpatient rehabilitation. For this study, two semi-structured interviews with 14 spousal caregivers were analyzed using grounded theory methods. Results: Long-term stroke survivor outcomes were dependent upon the commitment, capacity and preparedness of the family caregiver. Twelve domains of assessment were identified and presented. Conclusions: A comprehensive, systematic caregiver assessment to understand the caregiver’s concerns about stroke should be conducted during rehabilitation to help the team to develop a plan to address unmet needs and better prepare family caregivers to take on the caregiving role.
Implications for Rehabilitation
Stroke is a sudden event that often leaves stroke survivors and their families in crisis.
The needs of stroke family caregivers are not often systematically assessed as part of inpatient rehabilitation.
Long-term stroke survivor outcomes are dependent upon the commitment, capacity and preparedness of the family caregiver.
Stroke caregiver assessment should include the commitment, capacity and preparedness to provide care, and the overall impact of stroke in order to develop discharge plans that will adequately address the needs of the stroke survivor/caregiver dyad.
PURPOSE: Many disabled stroke survivors live at home supported by informal caregivers. Research has revealed that these caregivers are experiencing strain. This study aims to examine the prevalence and differences over time of caregivers' strain in the first 6 months post-stroke and to predict caregiver strain based on patients' and caregivers' characteristics and service input.
METHOD: Ninety consecutive patients and their caregivers were assessed at 2, 4 and 6 months post-stroke. The Caregiver Strain Index was used to evaluate strain. Patients' motor function, functional ability, health status, emotion and participation and caregivers' gender and relation to the patient and service input after discharge were measured to determine the predictive factors.
RESULTS: Nearly one out of three caregivers experienced strain. No differences were seen between 2, 4 and 6 months post-stroke. Correlation and multiple regression analyses revealed that in predicting strain, the patients' functional and activity level plays an important role in the sub-acute phase while the participation level gets more important over time.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings emphasize the importance of maximal physical recovery and optimal reintegration in the community. This is not only essential for the patients themselves but also a pre-requisite to reduce the strain of their caregivers.
Background: Informal carers frequently suffer adverse consequences from caring. General practice teams are well positioned to support them. However, what carers of stroke survivors want and expect from general practice, and the practical support measures they might like, remain largely unexplored.
The aims of this study are twofold. Firstly it explores both the support stroke carers would like from general practice and their reactions to the community based support proposed in the New Deal. Secondly, perceptions of a general practice team are investigated covering similar topics to carer interviews but from their perspective.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 stroke carers and 10 members of a general practice team. Carers' experiences and expectations of general practice and opinions of support measures from recent government policy were explored. General practice professionals were asked about their perceived role and their perceptions of carers' support needs. Interviews were content analysed.
Results: Carers' expectations of support from general practice were low and they neither received nor expected much support for themselves. General practice was seen as reactive primarily because of time constraints. Some carers would appreciate emotional support but others did not want additional services. Responses to recent policy initiatives were mixed with carers saying these might benefit other carers but not themselves.
General practice professionals' opinions were broadly similar. They recognise carers' support needs but see their role as reactive, focussed on stroke survivors, rather than carers. Caring was recognised as challenging. Providing emotional support and referral were seen as important but identification of carers was considered difficult. Time constraints limit their support. Responses to recent policy initiatives were positive.
Conclusions: Carers' expectations of support from general practice for themselves are low and teams are seen as reactive and time constrained. Both the carers and the general practice team participants emphasised the valuable role of general practice team in supporting stroke survivors. Research is needed to determine general practice teams' awareness and identification of carers and of the difficulties they encounter supporting stroke carers. Carer policy initiatives need greater specificity with greater attention to diversity in carer needs.
Stroke is one of the major causes of disability in the United Kingdom and considerable numbers of stroke survivors need help and support from family carers, The sudden and unexpected nature of stroke means that there is very little time for family members to prepare for a caring role. This paper draws on data from 37 interviews with 14 new carers of stroke survivors and highlights the uncertainty and lack of confidence that family members experience in adopting a caring role. During the initial period following the stroke carers engage in a number of different 'seeking' activities in order to try and ensure that they feel competent, confident and safe to provide care and that they understand the likely future demands they may face. Rather than being facilitated by staff, carers' efforts often go unnoticed or are overlooked, resulting in carers feeling that they are 'going it alone'. Staff need to be more aware of carers' 'seeking' behaviour and actively encourage the formation of partnerships with family members.
Objective: Prevailing measures of subjective caregiver burden either have no overall summary score or do not consider the relative importance caregivers attach to different dimensions of burden. Our aim was to assess which dimensions informal caregivers perceive as being important to their overall burden from care giving.
Subjects: Data were pooled from two Dutch samples of primary informal caregivers covering a wide range of chronic care-giving situations: caregivers for stroke survivors (n = 196) and caregivers for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n = 131).
Main measures: Subjective burden of care giving was assessed using the Caregiver Reaction Assessment (CRA) and the Self-Rated Burden scale (SRB).
Results: In the total sample four of the five dimensions of the CRA were found to contribute to the overall subjective burden experienced by informal caregivers. In the individual stroke and RA samples only two of the five dimensions emerged as relevant. SRB scores were significantly higher for caregivers of stroke patients, but no differences were found for the five dimensions of the CRA between the two samples.
Conclusions: The dimensions of CRA are not equally important to the overall subjective burden of informal caregivers. To assess overall subjective burden, a measure based on a caregiver's own assessment of burden such as SRB needs to be used in addition to prevailing measures.
OBJECTIVE: Determine the psychometric properties of PRECiS (Patient Reported Evaluation of Cognitive State): A new patient-centred, patient reported outcome measure for perceived impact of cognitive problems, developed through qualitative work, systematic review and service user consultation.
DESIGN: An observational study exploring acceptability, internal consistency, construct validity, inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability, with opportunistic qualitative data on sensitivity to change.
SETTING: Home visits in the community.
PARTICIPANTS: Stroke survivors with self-reported cognitive difficulties and informal carers.
MEASURES: The 27 item PRECiS was self-completed with support, and proxy completed by informal carers. We collected descriptive cognitive screening test data, and measures of overall stroke impact, mood and activities of daily living to explore construct validity.
RESULTS: Data were collected from 159 (visit 1) and 66 (visit 2) stroke survivors and 86 informal carers. PRECiS showed good acceptability (no missing values or floor/ceiling effects, minimal skewness); high internal consistency (α = 0.94, indicative of potential redundancy); with moderate to strong construct correlations in the directions hypothesised (0.40 to 0.74). An intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.85 indicated good test-retest reliability. Where self-reported change had occurred from visit 1 to 2, PRECiS appeared sensitive. Using carers as proxy respondents is not supported by this analysis (inter-rater ICC = 0.43).
CONCLUSIONS: PRECiS is a patient-centred, practical and reliable measure assessing perceived impact of cognitive problems from the unique perspective of stroke survivors.
Purpose. Despite increasing evidence of adverse effects on informal carers of caring for stroke survivors, little is known about the characteristics of carers and survivors that influence carer outcomes. The purpose of this review is to summarize factors influencing outcomes in carers of stroke survivors. Methods. A systematic review of studies identified from English language medicine, nursing and psychology databases from 1996 - 2006 was carried out. Results. Thirty-nine studies were identified. Studies from Europe and the USA investigating negative carer outcomes dominated. Carer psychological characteristics and survivor disability were shown to influence carer outcomes. However, the diversity of carers and outcomes investigated and differences in study timing post-stroke make generalizations difficult. Conclusions. Despite improvements in study design over the last two decades, atheoretical studies employing overlapping concepts and poorly defined participants still dominate. Future studies should have theoretical underpinning and should acknowledge the diversity of carers, survivors and their situations. In addition, future emphasis on positive carer outcomes may improve understanding of protective carer factors.
Aims and objectives. To explore the personal experiences of carers of stroke survivors and to elicit their views and opinions of what constitute the major issues and concerns of people in their situation.
Background. The unexpected nature of stroke can propel people into the role of carer with little or no warning. Some carers of stroke survivors suffer from considerable stress and a range of psychological and physical disorders.
Design. A small-scale qualitative study of experienced carers of stroke survivors.
Method. Ten carers with experience of caring for a stroke survivor were recruited to the study through community stroke staff. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and a focus group.
Results. The women’s main concerns were focused around the need for information and support, including the need for some preparation and training in the necessary skills of caring.
Conclusions. To understand fully the lives that carers lead, it is necessary to explore what carers want to do, and expect to do, for the care-recipient. There is a need to develop an understanding of factors that appear to be protective against stress, to identify how they can be enhanced and to develop ways to minimise the impact of those factors that have a detrimental impact on the well-being of carers and on those for whom they care.
Relevance to clinical practice. Health professionals need to ensure that appropriate information is clearly provided for carers. Communication between health professionals to ensure the ‘joined up’ provision of therapeutic services is another area for continual development. Carers expressed the wish to be better prepared to take on the caring role in the home and would have welcomed some training in this area.
Background and Purposes: Primary informal caregivers play a significant role in providing care to stroke survivors after having been discharged from the hospital. Our aims were to describe the characteristics of Thai stroke caregivers and to explore their needs while providing care to their stroke relatives. Methods: Using open-ended questions, we individually interviewed 20 caregivers of stroke survivors to identify their characteristics and their own needs. Additional field notes were made during all interviews. Results: Our findings revealed that the majority of Thai informal stroke caregivers in this study were female, mostly daughters, with the exception of 2 Thai primary stroke caregivers found to be nieces. The majority of caregivers provided care to their stroke relatives 24 h per day. The four major categories of informal rehabilitation were: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual rehabilitation activities. Assistance, information and social support were the three main needs of the caregivers. Conclusion: Based on these findings, appropriate nursing information and assistance focusing on rehabilitation and stroke caregivers’ needs should be provided to Thai stroke caregivers performing informal care to ensure that both patients and caregivers have the best possible quality of life.
Proposals for the New Deal for Carers, launched in 2007, include improved access to information via a helpline and carer training. Using informal (unpaid, usually family) stroke carers as an example, we examine research evidence for whether these carers might benefit from the proposals. We argue that too little attention is being paid to the available research and despite some generic carer problems, carer diversity means this poorly targeted input is likely to have little impact. Despite the fact that informal carers save the UK economy enormous sums of money, the budget for the proposals is woefully inadequate. Money might be better spent on increasing uptake of benefits and facilitating primary care to increase support.
BACKGROUND: Stroke is the third most common cause of death in industrialized countries and a major cause of adult disability. However, the burden of caring for stroke survivors usually rests with family members who have neither chosen nor volunteered for the role of 'carer'.
AIMS: This paper reports on a study which aimed to describe the experience of caring for a stroke survivor at one year after stroke in Scotland.
STUDY DESIGN: Semi-structured, taped interviews were conducted with 90 carers of stroke survivors one year after stroke and the data analysed using NUD*IST. The interviews were part of a larger study, which included the administration of a range of valid and reliable multidimensional instruments to both carers and stroke survivors. The interview prompt schedule had been developed and tested in a previous study.
FINDINGS: Although a medical emergency, stroke was not always diagnosed or treated as such by either the public or general practitioners. Initially most carers found that they lacked the knowledge and skills to care for the stroke survivor at home and so they had to learn how to obtain the information and assistance required. Carers had to adapt to the changes that stroke effected in the stroke survivor and seek alternative ways of securing the resources they needed for managing their lives. They thought that they had not been prepared adequately for the caring role or assessed satisfactorily in terms of whether they could manage given their skill level, age and/or health status.
CONCLUSIONS: A public health campaign to educate and inform that stroke is a medical emergency is required if stroke disability is to be minimized. The use of new technologies should be considered in facilitating carers' learning how to care. There is a need to test alternative models of stroke follow-up in multi-centre studies that are holistic and place the carer-stroke survivor at the centre of care.
Background: Since the majority of stroke survivors return home following their stroke, families play a pivotal role in their care. Few studies have addressed both positive and negative aspects of this role or the broader construct of health-related quality of life (HRQL). Furthermore, little consideration has been given to the context of care in terms of relationship quality, and reciprocity. The present study examined the relationships between caregiver quality of life (HRQL), caregiver role, relationship satisfaction, balance and reciprocity in caregivers of partners who had experienced a stroke. Specific hypotheses were made based on equity theory in social relations. Methods: Fifty-six partner caregivers completed a postal survey that included measures of HRQL (SF-36), caregiver role (negative and positive aspects), relationship satisfaction, reciprocity and balance. Data were also collected on the care recipients' quality of life (Stroke Specific Quality of Life scale). Results: Compared to a normative sample, caregivers' HRQL was lower for all SF-36 domains. Care recipient and caregiver age, care recipient quality of life and caregiver role (negative) significantly predicted physical component summary scores on the SF-36, while care recipient quality of life and caregiver role (negative) significantly correlated with mental component summary scores. Relationship satisfaction and intrinsic rewards of caregiving were found to be important predictors of positive aspects of the caregiver role. Caregivers who viewed their relationship as less balanced in terms of give and take had significantly greater caregiver burden than those who viewed their relationship as more equitable. Conclusions:The study highlights the importance of taking a broader approach to examining partner caregiving in the context of stroke, in terms of the caregiving relationship and their influence on the health and well-being of caregivers.
Aim. To examine the changing needs of Chinese family caregivers before and after stroke survivors’ discharge from hospital.
Background. Stroke ranks third as the most common cause of death in Hong Kong and is the leading cause of adult disability. Community care has been adopted as the major source of care for older people in Hong Kong and this has impacted on family caregivers.
Design and methods. This is a descriptive-correlational design using a within-subjects design. The needs of 40 Chinese family caregivers who met the inclusion criteria were assessed before discharge and two weeks later using the Carer Assessment Scale, Cost of Care Index and one open-ended question. Modified Barthel Index measured the functional ability of stroke survivors.
Results. Family caregivers are able to anticipate most of their needs and to make provision to meet the basic practical needs before discharge. Although needs changed after discharge the four most important needs persisted. These were associated with emotional and psychological problems and financial difficulties. Discharge destinations made no difference to the total scores obtained using the above scales.
Conclusions. This study provides information about need at a time of transition in an under-researched population of Chinese caregivers. Assessment of need is important with Chinese family carers in order to identify focused interventions in a population, i.e. reluctant to make their needs known to professional services. More research about caregiving problems for Chinese family caregivers at the transition from hospital to community is required.
Relevance to clinical practice. Ongoing need assessment by nurses who are in regular contact with caregivers in hospital and community will enable appropriate interventions such as providing education and emotional support both before and after discharge to be offered to Chinese communities.
Purpose. Stroke is a health crisis that can prompt a re-organisation of lives and impact on family caregivers. This study extends existing findings by investigating the experiences of partners of young stroke survivors (under 60 years old) two to seven years post-stroke. Method. Semi-structured interviews with seven partners were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results. Two super-ordinate themes emerged, 'Adjustment' and 'Coping'. The first consists of two subordinate themes; 'Changed lives' describes the way in which the impact of the stroke was played out in many areas of the partners lives, whereas 'Enduring effects on the self' highlights the psychological consequences of these changes. 'Coping' refers to the ways in which partners adapt to life post-stroke. Conclusions. The study extends knowledge by demonstrating the enduring effects of caring on domestic tasks, relationship with survivor, family roles, employment and social life. Trauma from the stroke event and its immediate aftermath persisted over years. Caring impacted on the partners' sense of self and identity, and positive as well as negative effects were noted. Coping was primarily problem-focussed and previous experiences, social comparison and social support were important. Implications for community support services are discussed.
Aims and objectives. This study examines the physical and emotional burden experienced by caregivers of stroke survivors, compared with caregivers of patients having neurological diseases.
Background. Stroke survivors have residual neurological impairment, which requires long-term support and care. Anxiety, depression and poor physical health are common sequelae among family caregivers of stroke survivors. There is a reasonably consistent association between patients’ levels of disability and emotional state and the emotional distress of their caregivers.
Design. A convenience sample of 47 families was recruited: of the 47 families, 23 had a member who suffered from stroke and 24 had a member with neurological disease.
Method. Two interviews were conducted at three and six months after the occurrence of the index stroke or neurological disease.
Results. When the two groups of caregivers were compared for anxiety, depression and physical health status after care giving, the caregivers of stroke patients demonstrated higher levels of anxiety and depression than their counterparts in the neurological disease group (p < 0·001). However, there was no significant difference in physical health status between the two groups. Educational attainment, patient group and physical and cognitive impairment of the patients were the predictors of anxiety and the depressive status of the caregivers, while their age and level of depression contributed significantly to their physical health status.
Conclusion. The physical and emotional well-being of two groups of family caregivers in a neurosurgical unit were compared in the caring context. The caregivers of stroke survivors are at a greater risk of developing poor physical and emotional health than the caregivers of patients having neurological diseases.
Relevance to clinical practice. The results illustrated that enhanced discharge planning and nurse follow-up sessions are considered essential in maintaining the well-being of the stroke caregivers and bridging the gap between the hospital and the community.
Purpose. Most stroke survivors are cared for at home by informal carers, usually their partners or children. The chronic burden of meeting these care needs can have a significant impact on the psychological well-being of the carer. The aim of this review is to analyse interventions that target psychosocial functioning in carers of stroke survivors to understand how such interventions can reduce the burden of caring. Method. Seven studies that reported on randomized controlled trials of psychosocial interventions for informal adult carers of a survivor of stroke, which reported validated measures of psychological health outcome and met a satisfactory rating of quality were included in this systematic review. Results. A forest plot of two studies that used education and counselling as the intervention for patients and spouses indicate a more favourable outcome for the intervention on the global family functioning scale. The Clarke, Rubenach, and Winsor (2003) study showed that patients were more likely to benefit from an intervention consisting of counselling and education than spouses.
Problem-solving therapies for family caregivers have been described for different dyads and care recipients with various chronic conditions. Only little attention is directed to the specific topics worked on with informal caregivers. This study focuses on the intensive intervention period of 3 months of an individualized mainly telephone-based problem-solving training for informal carers of stroke survivors (TIPS-Study). We present data of 47 strained caregivers who cared for their spouses and partners (n=42) or (grand-)parents (n=5). Results show that effective changes in burden can be achieved with only few contacts concentrating on problems that can be controlled by problem-focused coping mechanisms. Problems that require emotion-focused coping were processed rarely. Future perspectives of the approach are discussed.
Anne Marie Tunney and Assumpta Ryan discuss a study that used the experiences of women caring for survivors to assist service redesign
Aim The aim of this study was to explore how members of a stroke carers’ support group perceived that services for stroke patients and their carers could be improved.
Method A qualitative, experience-based design approach was used to explore the views of ten carers of stroke survivors. Experience questionnaires and a listening lab were used for data collection. Data analysis was carried out using thematic content analysis of the questionnaire and audiotaped transcripts.
Findings Common themes identified included carer loneliness, lack of information, effect of stroke on relationships, carer emotions, loss of privacy and need for ongoing support.
Conclusion There are many advantages to be gained for users and organisations from user involvement in service redesign and delivery
Objectives: To explore the impact of two methods of post-hospital stroke rehabilitation on both carers' perceptions of the health services offered and their quality of life.
Setting: East Dorset Health Authority.
Subjects: Forty-six informal carers were recruited from a sample of 106, initially identified from stroke patients participating in a larger randomized controlled trial.
Design: Qualitative methods.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were used at baseline and six months to explore carers' perception of a good therapy, the advantages and disadvantages of the different services and their fulfilment with the services. In-depth thematic analysis was carried out to explore the impact of the two different methods of service delivery on carers' quality of life.
Results: Day hospitals provided carers with respite opportunities, whilst domiciliary stroke teams provided carers with better educational opportunities to be involved in therapy. No qualitative difference was found in the impact that the different services had on carers' quality of life, which were influenced by factors such as the degree of disruption that caring had on their lives, the loss of a shared life and the availability of social support. Ultimately, carers saw the services as providing benefit for survivors and not themselves.
Conclusions: Domiciliary stroke teams provided informal stroke carers with skills that could help improve postdischarge stroke rehabilitation amongst stroke survivors. Informal carers also benefited from the respite elements of day hospital. A mixed model using both domiciliary care and day hospital care, could provide carers with the benefits of education, convenience and respite.
Aims and objectives. To explore the personal experiences of carers of stroke survivors and to elicit their views and opinions of what constitute the major issues and concerns of people in their situation.
Background. The unexpected nature of stroke can propel people into the role of carer with little or no warning. Some carers of stroke survivors suffer from considerable stress and a range of psychological and physical disorders.
Design. A small-scale qualitative study of experienced carers of stroke survivors.
Method. Ten carers with experience of caring for a stroke survivor were recruited to the study through community stroke staff. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and a focus group.
Results. The women’s main concerns were focused around the need for information and support, including the need for some preparation and training in the necessary skills of caring.
Conclusions. To understand fully the lives that carers lead, it is necessary to explore what carers want to do, and expect to do, for the care-recipient. There is a need to develop an understanding of factors that appear to be protective against stress, to identify how they can be enhanced and to develop ways to minimise the impact of those factors that have a detrimental impact on the well-being of carers and on those for whom they care.
Relevance to clinical practice. Health professionals need to ensure that appropriate information is clearly provided for carers. Communication between health professionals to ensure the ‘joined up’ provision of therapeutic services is another area for continual development. Carers expressed the wish to be better prepared to take on the caring role in the home and would have welcomed some training in this area.
Objectives Informal carers, often family members, play a vital role in supporting stroke survivors with post-stroke disability. As populations age, numbers of carers overall and those from minority ethnic groups in particular, are rising. Carers from all ethnic groups, but especially those from black and minority ethnic groups frequently fail to access support services, making understanding their experiences important. The study therefore explored the experiences of carers of stroke survivors aged 45+ years from 5 ethnic groups in accessing and receiving social care services after hospital discharge.
Design This qualitative study used 7 recorded focus groups with informal carers of stroke survivors. Data were analysed thematically focusing on similarities and differences between ethnic groups.
Setting Carers were recruited from voluntary sector organisations supporting carers, stroke survivors and black and minority ethnic groups in the UK.
Participants 41 carers from 5 ethnic groups (Asian Indian, Asian Pakistani, black African, black Caribbean, white British) participated in the focus groups.
Results Several interconnected themes were identified including: the service gap between hospital discharge and home; carers as the best person to care and cultural aspects of caring and using services. Many themes were common to all the included ethnic groups but some related to specific groups.
Conclusions Across ethnic groups there were many similarities in the experiences of people caring for stroke survivors with complex, long-term care needs. Accessing services demands effort and persistence on carers’ part. If carers believe services are unsatisfactory or that they, rather than formal services, should be providing support for stroke survivors, they are unlikely to persist in their efforts. Cultural and language differences add to the challenges black and minority ethnic group carers face.
This cohort study, aims to explore formal care provision to stroke survivors and their informal carers in the community in the UK. An initial cohort of 105 cohabitant carers of first-time stroke patients was recruited while the stroke patient was in hospital. Structured face-to-face interviews were carried out with carers prior to discharge of the stroke patient home, at 6 weeks after discharge, and 15 months after stroke. Questionnaires included measures of psychological health (CIS-R), physical health (self-rated health), social well-being (relationship quality and Sarason's social support questionnaire), handicap of the stroke survivor (Oxford Handicap Scale) and formal community support (amount of formal support and carer satisfaction). Multiple services were involved with most survivor–carer pairs (mean 5.4; range 2–9; SD = 1.7), and 74% of carers were satisfied with formal support provided. Number of services decreased with time (5.5 versus 4.1, t = 4.201, d.f. = 52, P < 0.001, 95% confidence interval: 0.71–2.01) but not time allocated. Using stepwise linear regression, service provision early after discharge was predicted by: level of handicap, recruitment centre, carer self-rated health, number of informal supporters and other care commitments. Satisfaction was predicted by quality of informal support and activity restriction. Fifteen months after stroke, predictors of formal care were: level of handicap, quality of informal support and previous caring experience. Predictors of satisfaction were: quality of the relationship between the stroke survivor and carer, age and mood. Quality of services was good, but carers lacked information, had insufficient help and were not consulted enough. Carer distress is common, yet not currently a factor influencing support provision. Formal care provided adapts with time reflecting the importance of quality of support from friends and family rather than quantity of informal supporters. These factors should be taken into consideration when planning and providing formal support for stroke survivors and their carers.
This study reports research on the experiences of stroke survivors and their informal carers who are receiving stroke services in the community. As part of a qualitative evaluation of a Pilot Community Stroke Service in Nottingham, England, interviews were conducted with stroke survivors, their families and friends, alongside interviews with the managers and professionals providing the service. The findings from the interview data were compared across cases and with findings from analyses of documentary data such as clients’ individual plans, and participant observational data, such as those of team meetings. Data analysis revealed that of the 57 survivors, 13 had suffered setbacks that were a direct consequence of their interactions with health and social care services and were system induced. This paper introduces and discusses the concept of the system induced setback by exploring the experiences of these 13 survivors. Implications for understanding the interplay of service provision and disease process are highlighted.