Abstract W P299: Interventions for Caregivers of Stroke Survivors: A Decade Update of the Literature
Background: Family caregivers (CGs) are taking on increasingly complex care for their loved ones with stroke related to increased survival after stroke and shorter hospital stays. Research has highlighted the demands of caregiving on the psychological, physical, and social health of the CG. The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize the latest evidence on effective interventions for CGs of stroke survivors (SSs).
Methods: The review included clinical trials that evaluated interventions for CGs of SSs. Using multiple databases, the search strategy included published English-language studies between 2002 and 2012. Two independent reviewers extracted information and evaluated study quality using an author-developed tool. Effect sizes were calculated if information was available.
Results: From an initial search of 106 studies, 16 met inclusion criteria and were included. Most interventions were multi-faceted, including elements of education, support, stress management, and skill building. Studies varied in the time from stroke that the intervention was provided and also in the length of the intervention, with most lasting between 1 and 12 weeks. While 50% of interventions were delivered face-to-face, 2 studies were web-based and 6 studies were delivered by telephone only or a combination of in-person and telephone. A variety of outcomes, most commonly psychological distress, caregiver burden, and quality of life, were measured with effectiveness of the intervention shown on at least one outcome measure in 50% of studies. Interventions that included skill building were more likely to show a significant effect, with small to medium effect sizes. Limitations of the reviewed studies include insufficient power in many studies to detect significant differences, under-representation of minority populations, high rates of losses to follow-up, and lack of theory-based interventions (only 40% described an underpinning theory).
Conclusions: Interventions that deliver specific skills to perform the physical care needed by the SS and/or to manage the SSs emotional responses to the stroke as well as the CGs responses to the role were consistently effective in decreasing psychological distress and burden.
Author Disclosures: R.M. Morris: None. C.L. White: None. A.G. Cantu: None. M.M. Trevino: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.