JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Effect of a telephone and web-based problem-solving intervention for stroke caregivers on stroke patient activities of daily living: A randomized controlled trial.

OBJECTIVE: To test for effects of a problem-solving intervention for stroke caregivers on stroke survivor activities of daily living.

DESIGN: Two-arm parallel randomized clinical trial with repeated measures at 11 weeks and 19 weeks.

SETTING: Medical centers for US military Veterans.

SUBJECTS: Caregivers of stroke survivors.

INTERVENTION: A registered nurse guided caregivers in using problem-solving strategies emphasizing creative thinking, optimism, planning, and expert information to address challenges associated with caregiving. Caregivers in the intervention completed one telephone orientation session followed by eight online, asynchronous messaging center sessions. The messaging center sessions involved (a) education on the Resources and Education for Stroke Caregivers' Understanding and Empowerment website (https://www.stroke.cindrr.research.va.gov/en/), (b) supportive communication between the nurse and caregiver, (c) nurse and caregiver interactions to improve problem-solving, and (d) maintain adherence to discharge planning instructions.

MAIN OUTCOME: The Barthel Index was used to measure activities of daily living.

RESULTS: 174 participants (standard care n  = 88, intervention n  = 86) were enrolled at baseline. There were no significant differences between groups at baseline. Change scores in activities of daily living between baseline and 11 weeks were significantly higher in the intervention group than the standard care group (group difference = 6.43, 95% confidence interval: 1.28, 11.58). Group differences in change scores between baseline and 19 weeks were not statistically significant (group difference = 3.89, 95% confidence interval: -3.58, 11.36).

CONCLUSIONS: This web-based caregiver intervention improved stroke survivor activities of daily living by 11 weeks, but intervention effects were undetectable after 19 weeks.

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