Problem-solving training via videoconferencing for family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injuries: A randomized controlled trial
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of an individualized problem-solving intervention delivered in videoconferencing sessions with family caregivers of persons living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) and possible contagion effects on care recipients. DESIGN: Family caregivers were randomly assigned to an education-only control group or an intervention group in which participants received problem-solving training (PST) in monthly videoconference session for a year. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-one caregivers (54 women, 7 men) and their care recipients (40 men, 21 women) consented to participate. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised was administered to caregivers. Caregivers and care recipients completed the Inventory to Diagnose Depression, the SF-36 and the Satisfaction with Life scale at pre-treatment, 6 months and 12 months. RESULTS: Twenty-eight caregivers discontinued the study and their follow-up data were unavailable at the final assessment. Older caregivers were more likely than younger caregivers to remain in the study. Intent-to-treat analyses projected a significant decrease in depression among caregivers receiving PST; efficacy analyses indicated this effect was pronounced at the 6th month assessment. ITT analyses and efficacy analyses revealed that care recipients of caregivers receiving PST reported gains in social functioning over time. CONCLUSIONS: Community-based, telehealth interventions may benefit family caregivers and their care recipients, but the mechanisms of these effects are unclear. Attrition and sample issues should be considered in future studies with these populations.
author list (cited authors)
Elliott, T. R., Brossart, D., Berry, J. W., & Fine, P. R.