Telephone Intervention With Family Caregivers of Stroke Survivors After Rehabilitation
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Social problem-solving therapy shows promise as an intervention to improve the well-being of family caregivers. There is some evidence that training in problem solving may be effectively delivered by telephone. The purpose of this study was to quantify the impact of social problem-solving telephone partnerships on primary family caregiver outcomes after stroke survivors are discharged home from a rehabilitation facility. METHODS: Using a randomized 3-group repeated-measures experimental design, 74 stroke survivors with an admitting diagnosis of ischemic stroke and their primary family caregivers were entered into the study. The intervention consisted of an initial 3-hour home visit between a trained nurse and the family caregiver within 1 week after discharge to begin problem-solving skill training. This initial session was followed by weekly (the first month) and biweekly (the second and third month) telephone contacts. RESULTS: Compared with the sham intervention and control groups, family caregivers who participated in the social problem-solving telephone partnership intervention group had better problem-solving skills; greater caregiver preparedness; less depression; and significant improvement in measures of vitality, social functioning, mental health, and role limitations related to emotional problems. There were no significant differences among the groups in caregiver burden. Satisfaction with healthcare services decreased over time in the control group while remaining comparable in the intervention and sham intervention groups. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that problem-solving training may be useful for family caregivers of stroke survivors after discharge from rehabilitative facilities.
author list (cited authors)
Grant, J. S., Elliott, T. R., Weaver, M., Bartolucci, A. A., & Giger, J. N.