Stress in caregivers of aphasic stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial

Draper, Brian, Bowring, Greg, Thompson, Claire, Van Heyst, Jocelyn, Conroy, Philip, and Thompson, Julie (2007) Stress in caregivers of aphasic stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation, 21 (2). pp. 122-130.

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Background: Communication difficulties due to aphasia following stroke are particularly stressful to caregivers.

Objective: To examine the impact of a psychoeducation programme on caregivers' burden and stress and communication between the caregiver and aphasic stroke patient.

Design: Randomized wait-list controlled trial with immediate or three-month delayed treatment.

Setting: Three public hospital rehabilitation services in Sydney, Australia.

Subjects: Thirty-nine caregivers of aphasic stroke patients, up to 12 months post stroke: 19 given immediate treatment and 20 in a delayed treatment control group.

Interventions: Four-session weekly caregiver programme that included elements of education, support and communication skills conducted by a speech pathologist, social worker and clinical psychologist.

Main measures: The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was used to measure caregiver stress, the Relatives' Stress Scale was used to measure caregiver burden and a communication questionnaire was designed specifically for this project.

Results: Thirty-one caregivers completed the study. Caregivers in the immediate treatment group had significant reductions in GHQ measured stress (GHQ mean (SD) at baseline= 6.26 (5.67), GHQ post treatment 3.21 (SD 4.20), P = 0.006). There was no improvement in wait-listed caregivers. Improvement was not maintained at three-month follow-up. There were no significant effects of the programme on communication skills or on caregiver burden.

Conclusions: Stroke caregiver support, education and training programmes have short-term effects on caregiver stress levels but are likely to require ongoing involvement to maintain their effect.

Item ID: 29114
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1477-0873
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2013 01:31
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 100%
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